Monday, May 30, 2011

The Untold Stories of Africa

By Miss Tilii

1. THE WAR OF THE GOLDEN STOOL (Yaa Asantewaa) - Ghana

2. BIAFRAN WAR - Nigerian (one of my greatest inspires- Chimamanda Adichie has some great stories that, with her permission, could be turned into film)



I know that within these historical events - there area hundreds and hundreds of untold stories, many of us dont even know about. Some filmmaker can just take one of those untold stories and make it into a film.

I love Africa, I love our culture, our languages, our customs and our history. I read a lot of historical books and events and hear stories from many who know more than me and tell me the stories (some accurate others not lol) and my ultimate wish is that one day some African filmmaker will bring this to film (not Hollywood - we dont have to wait for Hollywood to tell our stories like they did with Blood Diamond or King of Scotland and got Oscars or got World acclaim for) -

In 2012 and beyond, I hope some filmmaker can really plan on coming out with a film covering the so many historical events of africa,

We emulate the west in so many of our current home movies - that does not make us unique in any way - and we should be unique. Stories of such as mentioned above - when put into film and told right (right cast - right direction - right production) will have so much accolades. I remember once a friend of mine had a conversations about these topics - she said "Some Stories are better left Untold" - and my question was "Why"? - cos the truth is best not to be known? lol

For those who invest and donate to filmmakers (individuals, banks etc) - this is the type of stories you need to support to have made. The Jews had Schindlers List made and it broke box office records for months on end and exceeded its anticipated revenues. Why not us, and our stories. And please lets not use the "we lack funding" excuse. We can do whatever we put our minds to -and not always stretch our arms for funding from the west.

Though its my wish to see this stories come to film - please - if you think you cant do it - then please dont TRY TO touch it. Do it right - or dont do it all.

Readers - tell me - if you were to choose one Director/Producer to make these type of films - who would choose and also which actors or actress (known or unknown) would you pick - and to play what lead role. What African Stories would you like to see on screen - we covered the "marriage" and "royalty" topics a million times over. I am sure there are many stories you would like to see apart from the regular (fiction or non fiction).

ps: Other stories (not necessarily historical) that can be told as i mentioned in this thread is turning some of these old Pacesetter Novels (by African Authors) into movies. These type of movies is what will make us unique than the west - not copying from the west


*the* chatter*box* said...

if i were in the position to produce/ write i would tackle issues that affect us africans..for example i was watching moments with mo yesterday and they were talking about vvf aka was educational and i could see awareness being raised about this in a movie be it romantic or a tearjearker. Many causes like that one can be made for movies producing good entertainment and educating us...this is were in my opinion African Cinema is at a crossroads.

traditionally we had stories and tales passed down from generation to generation. they had a meaning and were highly entertaining be it a romantic one, heroic tales or horror and thrillers. i am sure for a fact that this is a staple in every african country.

true art has a meaning and a lot of garbage being fed to us has no theme or message which is the whole point of making a movie, communicating to the viewer be it about war/ love/ comdey... some stuff out there says only one thing.."we are after your money"

anyway back to the question sorry for going on a lil' rant there.

I will base my choices mainly form southern africa coz i know lots of people here may mention nolly/gollywood (hate that)

For me definately Tsitsi Dangarembga mainly for her writing skills..and Darell Roodt for directing...actors i will have to research.. but i would like to see some books by african authors being made for television/ film e.g tsotsi

Nicole said...

Hi Ms. Tilii,

I loved this post because I just joined a discussion in which I made a similar point on Ladybrille. There is no reason why anyone should have to complain about repetitive storylines when it comes to African film... the continent is too rich in history and heritage for that. I think the issue sometimes is that some writers and maybe even producers are lazy. They know that time, money, research, foot work and extra effort will need be invested and one has to recognize the importance of these aspects to telling such a story and telling it well, Chimamanda Adichie said as much when discussing "Half of a Yellow Sun." I'd love to see some of her work adapted to screen but I am so afraid that a film adaptation will fail to capture that magic she creates in her novels. To that writer equal to the task, I would say that the best way to start would be with a character in history or an issue that means something to you, that you find important to share, whether purely for historical or educational or whatever purpose. I also agree with the above poster, The chatterbox, on Tsitsi Dangarembga. I agree also on the point made about women and fistulas... all you need is one good story and there are so many who have lived it so there is no shortage of persons who can provide the insight needed as the foundation for such a film. I don't want to see American stories being told with African faces and settings and I don't wish to see African stories being told only through the eyes of Americans. We just need individuals with the courage to step up to the challenge. Leila Djansi seems to be trying. Mama Keita's "The Absence" was also a riveting film that addressed the issue of the vicious cycle that sometimes robs Africa of its best talents, essentially what happens when youth further their studies abroad, return to find a stagnant environment still unwilling to progress in a positive way.

Anyway... I believe it will happen with time and maybe the more we talk about it, the better.

I think Izu Ojukwu might be a great choice for a director of such a film. There is something about his collection of work so far that immediately made me think of him... he's not afraid to take chances with his work. Can't think of any one else off the top of my head, but then it's Memorial Day here and my mind and body are set on lazy cruise control. Will think further on that and re-post.

Great piece Ms. Tilii.

Anonymous said...

Hi Miss TiLii,just recently I read two books from my local library and the name of the books are The Concubine and The Great Ponds by Elechi Amadi. When reading these books I thought why any Nollywood producer or Director have not turn these two wonderful books into a movie.I think that Mr. Tchidi Chikere can do a wonderful job with this.

Miss T-i-l-i-i (African Movie Reviewer) said...

You guys got some great ideas, Thanks for commenting. I just hope some of the producers/directors will read this.

Yes agree every one you mentioned is exactly what i had in mind, the Izus, Leila, etc - in addition Kwaw Ansah from ghana is a great producers.

i havent read The Concubine and The Great Ponds by Elechi Amadi but i will check it out

Anonymous said...

Jett Amata has come out with a fascinating blockbuster on the Niger Delta crisis called Black Gold. you should see the trailer. It's good.

Nicole said...

Thanks for those Anon. Always on the lookout for a good book. Will be checking these out.

NollywoodReinvented said...

As if you just read my mind. I was just saying the same thing in this post ( I am tired of the same story of jealousy, envy, wickedness, and deceit. There are other problems in the world. Why do we just keep repeating the same old same old.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU oh, Ms TiLii. I hope that some producer takes a little hint from Disney, and makes a movie about Yaa Asantewaa as a young woman --MuLan style. We don't have to see her conquer armies, etc etc etc. A good writer can use poetic license to make up stories of her in her mid 20's. ~Mardevac

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