December 29, 2010 2:35 AM   Subscribe

Nigeria's film industry produces 50 films a week. "Nigerian films are as popular abroad as they are at home. Ivorian rebels in the bush stop fighting when a shipment of DVDs arrives from Lagos. Zambian mothers say their children talk with accents learnt from Nigerian television. When the president of Sierra Leone asked Genevieve Nnaji, a Lagosian screen goddess, to join him on the campaign trail he attracted record crowds at rallies. Millions of Africans watch Nigerian films every day, many more than see American fare. And yet Africans have mixed feelings about Nollywood."
posted by artof.mulata (10 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
The original article can be found here at The Economist. And if you want to see some examples, offers trailers (not all of which are safe for work).
posted by artof.mulata at 2:42 AM on December 29, 2010

Related: photographer Pieter Hugo's Nollywood series, a re-creation based on Nollywood myths and symbols (NSFW) (previously).
posted by elgilito at 3:03 AM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

posted by Damienmce at 4:43 AM on December 29, 2010 [2 favorites]

Previous post, somewhat related.
posted by nomadicink at 5:27 AM on December 29, 2010

I was puzzled by the Jean Rouch quote ("Rouch has compared Nollywood to the AIDS virus"). It's in fact a misquote as Rouch was talking about video and what he really meant by that was unclear anyway. A long time supporter of African cinema, he trained early Nigerien filmmakers and the idea that he would be pissed off by the emergence of a strong African movie industry is just strange.
posted by elgilito at 5:54 AM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Good Copy Bad Copy documentary (freely downloadable from the website) includes a number of interviews in Nigeria with some of the country's filmmakers. It was quite refreshing to hear their perspective on the issues of copyright and piracy.
posted by papersnprayers at 6:57 AM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Fascinating article. The wild west of filmmaking imagery conjured up by this piece seems like something dreamed up in a speculative fiction author's head.
posted by haveanicesummer at 8:57 AM on December 29, 2010

It looks like that dude in the photo in the Economist article showed up just in time to fix the cable.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:42 AM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

There's an interesting subset of horror films there. I wonder how they'll mutate over time.
posted by doctornemo at 10:00 AM on December 29, 2010

What the article states about Nigerian films being shown on buses is true, from my experience. And the ones I saw were, unintentionally, hilarious. The most notable was a music video by a woman singer with a religious theme - the hilarious part was that Christian symbolism (Jesus Christ on the cross) was intermixed with video shots of the star (singer) dancing with two, very hot, guys who were shirtless.
posted by bluesky43 at 12:41 PM on December 29, 2010

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