Nollywood Babylon

Posted: August 5, 2010 in Movies
Tags: ,

Nollywood–as far as bigness is concerned Nollywood ranks third in the world, behind Hollywood (#1) and Bollywood (#2). Nollywood Babylon (not to be confused with Hollywood Babylon) is the name of a documentary on Nigeria’s slummovies, movies not shown in theaters, of which there are very few in Nigeria anymore,  but mostly sold on dvds at kiosks and booths in the capital of Nigeria’s massive slum districts in Lagos. The movies are made on the cheap, maybe a few thousand dollars, and usually completed within a couple of weeks or even days. In this documentary filmmakers Ben Addelman and Samir Mallal  go behind the scenes with one of the biggest of the slum movie directors, Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen — aka “Da Governor. What are the themes? Religion, witches, sex, magic and urban culture. I watched this last night on Netflix’s streaming video (well worth the eight or nine dollars a month). In fact, I’ve become almost addicted to the number of instant watch videos at this service (includes TV shows and movies too), which you can play on your regular television (if you prefer that to your smaller computer screen), for example, via Playstation or Wii, etc.

Here are some other fascinating docs I’ve seen: Seoul Train: Independent Lens (about the plight of North Koreans fleeing the horrors of N. Korea, only to live a distressed life on the lam in China), The End of America (by Naomi Wolfe, about the dangerous excesses of Homeland Security under Bush), The Beauty Academy of Kabul (judging by the title this wouldn’t normally be something I’d be interested in but this turned out to be quite fascinating and  inspiring), Loose Change (conspiracy theory about 9/11), Helvetica (yes, a documentary about the helvetica font), Islam: What the World Needs to Know (excellent interviews, source material about this very dangerous political movement)…There’s a ton more.

This trailer is from the above mentioned documentary. Type in Nollywood to get many more video examples on Youtube.


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