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INT: A green house DAY
Woman: The system would collapse
John: I believe in that system
Woman: Do you really?
John: You want to bring it down
Woman: You will bring it down if you manage to kill your victim…Oh why.., that will be the greatest public display on how Pre-crime did work.
John: I am not going to kill anybody
Woman: Hold that thought.
John: Why should I trust you?
Woman: You shouldn’t trust anyone, certainly not the Attorney General who just wants it all for himself nor the Federal agent who wants your job. Not even the Old man who just wants to hang on what he created. Don’t trust anyone; just find the Minority Report…
The above dialogue is an excerpt from a scene in the movie “Minority Report” by Tom Cruise released in 2002.
The news on a ban for foreign movies by Desmond Elliot has been on the news for a while especially on social media platforms. The reason is for the Nigerian movies to thrive. A ban on foreign movies is not the solution to the survival of Nigerian made movies.
Minority Report was released 17 years ago and I can still watch it as well as other movie lovers for just one simple reason. The movie has what I termed “Re-watchable Value”. 90 percent of Nigeria made home movies lacks this quality. It is an impossible feat to watch a lot of Nigerian made movies twice. At some point because of how flat the plots are, you may abandon it half way. There are lots of grade B and C foreign movies but you will still enjoy them better than Nigerian movies.
Nigerian movies do not have suspense in them. It is easy to predict and lacks creativity. From the title, you will see how porous the plots are. Twenty minutes into a Nigerian movie, you already know the end. Nigerian movies are made in a hurry. Under a week, a movie is made without following the due process. No script readings, no rehearsals etc. Casting is poor and shooting is done shabbily. Actors have become stereotyped so as to land familiar roles.
Dialogues are poor and the subtitles are nothing to write home about especially in those movies where English is not used. Some movies have more than three parts released in a year. Movie making is in the hands of quacks and business men who have nothing to offer but to make quick money.
Seasoned producers such as Kunle Afolayan have made good films that have pushed some of the foreign movies off box-office in Nigeria. The Figurine, Phone Swap, October 1 is some of the wonderful movies that have done well. Recently, Netflix bought Genevieve Nnaji’s Lionheart. The movie industry needs total overhauling by the efforts of the players of the entertainment world.
A ban on foreign movies will only make Nigerian movies end up in the movie cemetery because there will be no competition anymore. Foreign movies have helped us to grow because some of our best movies were modeled after foreign movies. The solution is to improve the standard and see instead ban substandard Nigerian movies.
Even if we are to follow Desmond Elliot’s statement (if he actually said it), it will take us back to the pre-historic era where we know nothing of the outside world. In 80s, it was only Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) that was the major television station alongside some state-owned stations that were operating in a way they felt was the best. People were forced to watch since there were no better options until we were all exposed to foreign stations. It was then we knew how backward our stations were and also that the good things of life actually existed.
Today, we have better local stations competing with their foreign counterparts.
So if the Nigerian movie industry cannot upgrade their quality to compete with the foreign movies in their own country then they should close shop. A ban will not solve anything.
Improvement on the quality and plots is all that is needed. In that way, they can push the quacks out of the business.