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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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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 27 February 2021

Political Films

Political Films

(p.192) Chapter 8 Political Films

Jonathan Haynes

University of Chicago Press

Nollywood has a reputation for avoiding political issues, but a genre of “political films” emerged after the end of military rule in 1999. Nollywood extended strategies it had already developed to represent the workings of power in society. Traditional rule by kings and chiefs becomes an allegory for national politics in Kelani’s Saworoide and Agogo Eewo. The money ritual film is a vehicle for analyzing mechanisms of political predation in Nnebue Rituals. The family film, whose melodramatic mode is suited to the highly personalized forms of power in Nigeria, turned to the political elite, as in Dark Goddess and Stubborn Grasshopper, which tells the story of the dictator Sani Abacha. Given the un-ideological character of Nigerian politics, the moralism that Nollywood shares with African popular culture effectively addresses much that matters in governance as well as expressing the grassroots desire for justice.

Keywords:   Nigerian politics, ideology, political films, African popular culture, military rule, Sani Abacha, contemporary Nigerian history, melodrama, traditional rulers

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