Unit 2 - Religion in NollywoodPresentation Transcript
Portrayal of Religion in Nollywood Films by Sarah Reichle
Portrayal of Religion in Nollywood Films by Sarah Reichle
Agenda• Media and the ﬁlm industry in Nigeria• The rise of Nollywood• Religion in Nigeria• Christian inﬂuence in Nollywood• Portrayal of religion in ﬁlms • Christianity • Traditional African faiths • Islam, Hausa Video and Sharia Law
“Nollywood! You know, the sheer entertainment value of what we’re doingis amazing. Unprecedented. People ﬁnd it interesting, because it’s about them.” - Ajoke Jacobs, Nollywood actress
Film in Nigeria• Traditionally, there was only celluloid ﬁlm in Nigeria• Western and church-related ﬁlms to educate Nigerians• Collapse of movie theatre culture in the 1980s Sources: Ebewo, Olayiwola
Rise of Nollywood• Third largest ﬁlm industry in the world• Approximately 50 movies produced each week• Gross is an estimated $200 million per year• Popular because of cultural identity and economic independence Sources: Ebewo, Esan
Brief Overview of Religion in Nigeria• Igbo people and Christianity• Hausa people and Islam• Mixture of Christianity and indigenous beliefs
Brief Overview of Religion in Nigeria “The Bible is the sacred book of Christianity, and the Qur’an is the book of Islam. African Religion has no scriptures or holy books. It is written in the history, the hearts and experiences of the people.” - John Mbiti, African Religion scholar (Onuzulike, 2008)
Religion in Nigeria Today Religious beliefs in Nigeria: Indigenous Beliefs 10% Muslim Christian 50% 40%Northern Nigeria is mostlyMuslim while SouthernNigeria, where Lagos islocated, is primarily Source: CIA World FactbookChristian.
Deﬁnitions• Voodoo• Juju• Sharia Law
Christianity• Mostly Igbo-dominated English language video industry• Catering to the religious majority• “the church is used to liberate people from the shackles of witchcraft.” -ﬁlm crew, Nollywood Babylon
Mind Game aka Sexy Game• story of a recently married, born-again Christian couple• “Her worst nightmare”• homosexuality theme http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCFs6OwvDTQ Movie review: Mind Game. (2011, January 10). Retrieved from Afrikcinepedia.
Traditional African Religions• Industry began in 1992 with Living In Bondage • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hr7wDcyoIsE • Living in Bondage 2• “Bad guys” and traditional rituals versus “good guys” and Christianity • Persecution• Propagating stereotypes?
Traditional African Religions “I don’t see anything wrong in doing a ﬁlm on rituals… It exists… If you are not into it maybe, your mother is into it. If not your mother, maybe your father. It is integral in the life of a lot of Africans, but somehow people don’t want to talk about it. They think it’s dirty.” - Lancelot, Nollywood Babylon
Traditional African Religions “Movies that portray “You can have stories that talk superstition, witchcraft and on things like voodoo but other beliefs make people in when it is over done and made the western world who the centre of any offering, that patronize them think that is when it becomes a problemAfrica is still in total blackout because the more people seeand does not know where it is it, the more thay will think that heading towards.” our country is all about - Nay Nunoo Amarteiﬁco voodoo practice.”at the Eighth Pan-African Students’ Film - Frank Nweke and Television Festival Nigerian Minister of Information (Adamu, 2010, p. 43). (Eno, 2007, p. 92).
Traditional African Religions In a study of the Nigerian ﬁlm audience, it was found that although they believe too much emphasis is on cultic and fetish practices as well as sex and violence, they have a favorable opinion of Nollywood, despite its negative themes. (Eno, 2007)
Islam• 50% of Nigerians are Muslim• Many Nollywood themes are in direct opposition with the Muslim faith• Kano, located in the Muslim North of Nigeria• Locally known as Kannywood
Hausa Video Films• Not as popular as Nollywood• Moral, preachy messages • Ta Bayyana • Farida Jalal• Heavily inﬂuenced by Bollywood• Sharia Law
Hausa Video Films “The government did not ban songs. You can sing. Even in Hausa culture there is singing and dancing,but moderately. What the government did say is: youcannot have male and female dancing of this kind of dancing that is being shown in our movies. That kindof dancing where you see a lady half naked dancing with her breasts shaking—it’s not allowed… So thegovernment said no male and female dancing of such kind of useless dancing I am talking about. If you do that in your ﬁlm, we will ask you to remove that.” - Kano State Censorship Board
Hausa Video Films “We are only reﬂecting what is happening in the real world. Youwill see young girls and boys in real life going to a party and gettingdown. If a ﬁlm is to show all the girls in hijab and no getting down, I swear the ﬁlm will ﬂop.” - Hausa video actress
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