Black November Movie Review
I’ve always thought I have a knack for movie reviews and I’ve wanted to get into writing so the best place to start, right?
Black November is a 2012 film by Jeta Amata, a Nigerian filmmaker about the struggles of people living in the Niger Delta community of Nigeria. It is rightly tagged, “Struggle for the Niger Delta”. I only recently watched this film, thus, this review. I had never heard of the movie before and wasn’t aware it was four years old until after I’d watched it.
The Black November movie impacted me so much that I had to write about it. It wouldn’t have been enough just to ‘tweet’ or make a status update on it. It is apparently a reissue of the 2011 film, Black Gold, which I am also yet to see but is high on my ‘to-watch’ list. Watching Black November resonated in me the same feelings I had when watching the 2015 documentary, Nowhere to Run: Nigeria’s Climate and Environmental Crisis by the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation.
I have always loved film and am a big believer in the impact film makes in creating awareness on causes to people who wouldn’t have otherwise known about them. And I’m surprised when some of these films get very terrible reviews. I believe they are missing the plot in failing to recognise the great strides some of these films have accomplished. Do they know how rare it is to get films this good from Nollywood? Do they know how even rarer it is to see films portraying important issues, from Nollywood?
Why doesn’t Nollywood make movies like this? Movies about real life issues? Instead, it focuses largely on trivial life and family dramas.
In Black November, I was excited to see Akon and Wyclef Jean perform rather immersive roles as Nigerians from the Niger Delta. Mbong Amata blew me away as the young, innocent lead, Ebiere Perema in the film. The scene where she is being led to the gallows tugged at my heartstrings and had me replaying the Bible verse, “to live is Christ [gain] and to die is gain,” (Phil 1:21) in my head.
I intentionally didn’t describe much about the actual movie because I want readers to be encouraged to go and look it up themselves. I think Jeta Amata did an excellent job and is a visionary. I look forward to seeing more of his projects.