The virtual arrangement for Day 2 of the Annual Film Mischief did little to disrupt proceedings. The screened films, most of them sharing similarities only in their minimalistic approach, offered a more diverse range of themes that reflect the daring preoccupations of Nigerian indie filmmakers.
On the uncertainty of justice, The Samaritan by Olabode Israel and Oghenekevwe Okporuwa tells a simple, unambiguous story about a young man unfairly apprehended for being at a crime scene where he lends sympathy to a stabbed victim. The film punctuates the alertness of the law to the facts of evidence, other than the sincerity of intentions.
On mental health and depression, Tosan Ayanfulu in Reflections tells the story of a girl who duels with the frightening apparitions from her past when she was raped as a young girl. She pushes through the grim struggles with her demon and fights her way to closure in the safe hands of a therapist and a lover.
On the politics of award shows, Debola Ogunshina’s And the winner is sees three contributors to a winning film scuffle over an award plaque, each spitting verbose, and rather contemptuous comments on competencies and who truly deserves to claim the award.
On spiritism and mysticism, Holiwata by Okwong Fadamana paints a distorted image of dual personalities using a fine mix of surrealism and a spooky score.
On public health awareness, ‘Korede Azeez, in the despairing drama Play, frames the repressive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on a young girl who’s feared to have contracted the virus by her overprotective mother.
On affection, In Ibadan, by Taiwo Egunjobi, tells a contemplative love story with static, Ozu-esque frames and introspective performances from a talented cast. What is left unsaid, most of them awkward pauses and curious facial expressions, are weightier than the words that are spoken. Ibadan comes alive in the picture. The director is on a mission to clear misconceptions about the ancient city and from the audience’s reception, it appears he succeeded.
Isaac O. Ayodeji