In The Last Okoroshi by Abba Makama, a local Nigerian man struggles to make the most of his unremarkable life as a company security guard until he begins to have strange and terrifying dreams. After hearing about his dreams, an elder tells him that the things he sees are a link to his ancestors and that he must embrace these visions. With these persistent dreams harassing him and no other solution in sight, the young man follows the chiefs’ advice, only to wake up and discover that he has been turned into a mute, purple masquerade. The rest of the film shows us his hilarious experiences as he tries to live a ‘normal’ life as a masked, purple spirit.
The independent film community received Abba Makama’s first feature film, Green White Green, with a lot of enthusiasm in 2016. It was one of 8 Nigerian films selected to screen at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016. The film went on to win several awards, was screened at more than 20 other film festivals, and was distributed on 3 international airlines- Air France, Emirates, and Ethiopian Airline. Impressively, The Last Okoroshi, has also been selected to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September this year.
The Toronto International Film Festival is one of the world’s most distinguished independent film festivals. It attracts about 400,000 people each year, some of whom are the dazzling stars we see on our big screens. Over the years the festival has earned a reputation for bringing the most talented scriptwriters, actors, and directors in the world into the limelight. For example, after the American film Silver Linings Playbook premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012, it gained eight Oscar nominations and won the Best Actress award. To be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival is a huge honor and a golden opportunity for a locally produced independent film (and its director) to find even more recognition abroad.
The story in Makama’s new film is simple and it has been told before: Mysterious forces grant a mans’ wish for a more exciting life, but they grant it with a twist. The fantasy comedy is familiar, but Makama’s approach is original. It might be his unique way of expressing our everyday struggles as Nigerians that makes his work so fascinating. Commenting on the production and idea behind the film in an interview, Abba Makama mentioned that he is personally fascinated and inspired by psychology, the subconscious, and dreams. His own personal life and work have been very much influenced by his dreams.
Like his first film, The Last Okoroshi was filmed in Nigeria. A few of the most essential scenes were even shot in local markets. The Toronto International Film Festival will run from September 5 to September 15, 2019.
Watch this exciting trailer of The Last Okoroshi below.
The Nation Newspaper
Featured Image Source: Iroko TV