GREEN WHITE GREEN- LIGHTS CAMERAS AFRICA FILM FESTIVAL
Directed by: – Abba T. Makama
Produced by: – Abba T. Makama
Starring: – Ifeanyi Dike Jr., Jamal Ibrahim, Samuel Robison, Okey Uzeoshi, Chrystabel Goody, Bimbo Manuel
Run time: – 102 minutes (1hr 42mins)
… And All The Beautiful Colours In My Mosaic of Madness
Watching this movie made me realize that there is a massive gap in the Nollywood scene as there are not a lot of movies that speak to the Youth of Nigeria. A lot of movies in this industry doesn’t rely on a cast of young actors but rather opt to go for veterans who are significantly older. Inspired by George Lucas’s American Graffiti and Michael Gondry’s Be Kind Rewind, Green White Green hopes to be a movie that the youth of Lagos and Nigeria can relate to and be inspired by.
Green White Green follows three young lads from the three major tribes who are in that period in their life where the world is about to become their theatre but they have no clue about the role they want to play in it. We have Uzoma (Ifeanyi Dike), an orphaned self-taught artist who lives with his brother (Okey Uzoeshi) and makes a living selling his works and dreams of getting them featured in a gallery, Segun (Samuel Robinson) a young lad who dreams of escaping the hustle and bustle of Lagos to go to New York and Baba (Jamal Ibrahim) a boy who doesn’t want to go to university to study another conventional subject. Despite their different life-styles the boys still remain great friends and manage to find time to frolic around the culturally diverse Lagos as they spend their days playing video games and engaging themselves in Yab-offs (improvised insult matches) with local gangs.
Though the boys struggle to find answers for their next movement in life, they decide to make a short-film that captures the essence of Nigeria. Little do they know that the movie they are about to make is going to give them a better understanding of their nation, Nigeria but also act as a catalyst for their journey into adulthood. Green White Green is the first feature length film of Nollywood visionary Abba T. Makama who up till this point has directed documentaries (Nollywood: Something Out of Nothing), short films (Party of Ministers) and comedy satires (Direc-toh). Is his latest work something we should observe or is it a movie that we should ignore all together? Lets take a look at the positives and the negatives.
- Production values for this movie are top notch. The cinematography is indeed very unique as the movie relies on a lot of montages, collage shots, jump cuts and gets interesting angles during filming. I absolutely adore the shots of the various locations in Lagos and they help the city become a character that the actors and actresses involved in the film get to interact with. It’s visual style is very reminiscent of a Spike Lee movie.
- The choice of music also gives movie its unique identity. The movie blends classic Nigerian songs like Veno’s “ Nigeria go Survive” with modern songs like Cities Aviv “Url lrl” which helps characterize the old and new school and gifts the film with a funky feel.
- The movie offers a great insight about the Nigerian lifestyle as the script shows what its like to be Nigerian through its humorous narration, satire and parodies of various facets of Nigerian culture . Nothing is safe from this script as the movie hilariously makes fun of ethnicities that make up our nation and the inherent tribalism that still exist within the country. This is perfectly exemplified by Uzoma’s brother Chuks who longs for another Biafra despite not growing up in that era and Baba’s father who often makes comments towards other tribes. The movie also highlights the social divide that exists within the country and even takes a jab at Nollywood, the state of Nigerian politics, Boko Haram and our confused youth who at times don’t appreciate our culture and wish to imitate the western world. The best thing about the movies script is how accessible it is. Not only will Nigerians relate to this tale, other people will leave this movie a little more knowledgeable about Nigeria than when they started. The movie even manages to implement a great message about conventions that a lot young adults like myself can relate to.
- I really like how the main cast bounce-off each other despite their different upbringings. They truly act like young kids as they bicker about trivial things like whether the Avengers is more influential than the matrix, play FIFA and get into fights with local gangs amongst many other things. What ultimately makes their character compelling is that they are extremely layered as they have their own arcs and goals that they wish to resolve through the production of their short-film.
- The movie had one or two technical hiccups in the sound department. Whilst it doesn’t affect the experience it is notable and its common issue with a lot of movies in this industry.
- Though the movie primarily focuses on the boys and their own struggles I honestly feel that the movie missed a huge opportunity to make sharp commentary on young females in Nigeria through Chrystabel Goody’s character. Though I enjoy the dynamic she has with the guys when they make the movie together, the film unfortunately relegates her to a supporting character who honestly at times just feels like she’s there to be just a pretty face.
- The movie wraps itself up in a nice fashion but the problem with it is that it doesn’t raise the stakes and ends in a satisfying manner that is far from the realities we face in today’s Nigeria. The ending plays it a little too safe for my liking.
Green White Green is a great comedy that provides a humourous examination on Nigeria and its youth. This movie stands above many other films in Nollywood with its unique visual style, soundtrack, good performances and great message that millennials can indentify with. It is a great celebration of youth in Lagos and Nigeria and it’s a highly recommended watch.
RATING: – WORTH A WATCH
Green White Green is scheduled to be released on Netflix in the coming weeks. If you want to see more independent films from Nigeria and beyond check out the Lights Camera Africa Festival today till Sunday October 2 at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island. If you are interested in attending be sure to check their website and register for the festival at no cost. Please be sure to also like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter and Instagram.