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NollywoodThe Creation of Nigerian Film Genres$
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Jonathan Haynes

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226387819

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226388007.001.0001

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Crime, Vigilante, and Village Films: Violence and Insecurity

Crime, Vigilante, and Village Films: Violence and Insecurity

Chapter:
(p.165) Chapter 7 Crime, Vigilante, and Village Films: Violence and Insecurity
Source:
Nollywood
Author(s):

Jonathan Haynes

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226388007.003.0007

The breakdown of law and order in Nigeria created general terror. A series of scandals linked violence, political power, and occult forces: rumors of money rituals practiced by the elite caused rioting; a vigilante group, the Bakassi Boys, armed themselves with spiritual weapons; many politicians were exposed as clients of a corpse-littered shrine. Nollywood reacted to these scandals, renewing its key symbolic complex, the money ritual, and creating the new subgenre of vigilante films. Villages are the preeminent imagined community for these dramas, seen as the crucial arena for struggles over governance and for spiritual conflicts among traditional, Christian, and predatory occult forces. The village genre localizes these struggles in a dense social fabric. Other kinds of crime film arose at the same time, around 2000; they show various foreign influences, but Nollywood’s crime genre is distinct, family melodrama and spiritual interventions largely displacing detective work.

Keywords:   Nigerian politics, village, violence, crime films, vigilantes, press, popular justice, occult, shrines, Igbo, rumor

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