BY ‘SEGUN ODEJIMI
Sexual abuse, poverty, and prostitution are the three predominant themes explored in Black Silhouette. The movie tells us the story of Maro Oti who is about to make history as the first female Governor in Nigeria. Despite her husband’s disapproval, she fixes an appointment with an internationally acclaimed biographer, Eric Mobumba and requests that he writes her memoir. Eric Mobumba is initially happy to do so but his excitement, however, starts to wane as Senator Maro’s tale of her past reveals a life of sexual abuse, prostitution as a teenager and an unsolved murder case.
This movie makes an effort to connect with you, no matter what part of the social ladder you find yourself. Apart from that, it also highlights the level of poverty existing in the country and what many people have to do to survive.
Maro’s battle for survival is a fierce one. She finds herself thrown against circumstances more than once and she has to look for ways to stay alive and keep up. She grows up to a troubled childhood, loses her love, Tega and gets introduced to prostitution, all in almost rapid successions. Good story by Paul Alanza and Charles Uwagbai. This is a story about poverty well told.
The director, Charles Uwagbai does a good job telling the story, while avoiding too many complexities. His use of symbols and imagery are also worth an acknowledging nod.
Uwagbai’s assemblage of actors is also quite commendable with Joke Silva, Ivie Okujaye, IK Osakioduwa, Femi Jacobs and Jude Orhorha, all very good actors, working together to advance the cause of this movie. David Olamide, the child actor, also possesses huge potentials that can catapult him into the subconscious of Nollywood audiences.
Ivie Okujaye, the Amstel Malta Box Office winner, deserves praise for how she carried this film on her backs until the points when she had to pass the baton to Joke Silva’s experience and finesse. Her fluency in pidgin English is a joy to behold in the movie, and that was a masterstroke that the director didn’t miss out on because it is difficult to portray prostitution at its crudest in Nigeria without pidgin playing a part. Same with poverty. Majority of the cast are at home with the fascinating language.
A few flaws in little details like the discrepancy in Maro’s age depiction and the artistic deficiency of Uwagbai apart, this is one fine film. One that deserves more publicity than even the producers accorded it.