Across two crucial periods in Nigerian history, two young women must ponder the painful sacrifices they are forced to make for love.
To mark the beginning of adulthood and prepare for marriage, a young girl in an Edo village must undergo a painful rite of passage through scarification. The agony she endures for a loving union finds her questioning the process. Sometime in the future, unencumbered by the traditions that exist in present day Lagos, Michelle questions her tumultuous relationship with her boyfriend America. Having recently found out that she is pregnant, with America pushing her toward an abortion and with her job on the line, Michelle also considers the sacrifices that are made for love. With a stunning depiction of provincial Nigerian life and the grit of urban existence, Michael Omonua’s bold debut effortlessly bends time and human experience in ways that push the potential of Nigerian cinema.
In Nigerian Pidgin, with English subtitles
Nigeria, 2019, 76 min
Michael Omonua received his BA in Film Production at the University College of the Creative Arts, in Farnham, Surrey, and has since gone on to write and direct short films in both the United Kingdom and Nigeria. His shorts have wide ranging influences, from the humanist cinema of Ray, Ozu, and Bresson to the experimentation of French New Wave directors. Working in Nollywood, the film industry of Nigera, Omonua was disillusioned by the abundance of slapstick comedies and wedding films saturating the market. He then co-founded, along with two fellow Nigerian filmmakers CJ Obasi and Abba Makama, the Surreal16 Collective. Their mission is to set Nigerian cinema on a new course, inspired by the Danish Dogme 95 Movement.
20:00 doors & drinks
22:00 Q&A in beurscafé
Q&A with Michael Omonua (connected remotely) in English, moderated by Lyse Ishimwe
Recognition is a Brussels-based initiative with an aim of increasing the visibility of African and African diaspora art, literature and culture via community-based film screenings, workshops and expositions. It is an effort to identify, remember and acknowledge the work that has for so long been marginalized and left on the sidelines from mainstream media. Recognition was founded in 2016 by Lyse Ishimwe Nsengiyumva. Film screenings take place every month at various cinemas and cultural institutions in Brussels. The program focuses on films by and about people of African descent.