Nollywood on the road - Nigeria on display

Ugochukwu, Francoise (2012). Nollywood on the road - Nigeria on display. In: Ododo, Sunday Enessi ed. Fireworks for a Lighting Aesthetician: Essays and Tributes in Honour of Duro Oni @ 60. Lagos: Centre for Black and African Arts & Civilisation (CBAAC), pp. 465–475.


While a number of Nigerian films are set in ancestral villages, with some of them re-enacting historical events, more and more feature Nigerian cities. Whatever the setting, the road is central to the story, as ordinary Nigerians live a good part of their life on the road, commuting to work, shuttling between their village and their urban dwelling, or travelling to buy and sell. This study considers a number of video films from the South of the Federation, produced since 1991, to evaluate the importance of roads in the scenarios as a powerful symbol bridging tradition and change. The long shots of city and village roads common to these films have been criticised for slowing down the pace of the action. The hypothesis considered in the present study is that these shots, while having been placed in the films as possible fillers between scenes, unwittingly serve a real purpose and can be considered as key-elements of the mise-en-scene.

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