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New African-made films challenge Hollywood stereotypes

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New African-made films challenge Hollywood stereotypes

By Nazanine Moshiri and Angela Ukomadu

 

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Temidayo Makanjuola and James Amuta, co-producers of Oloture film, pose for a picture during an interview with Reuters in Lagos, Nigeria October 8, 2020. REUTERS/Seun Sanni

 

NAIROBI/LAGOS (Reuters) - Producers of two African-made films premiering on Netflix this month believe their work will show there's subscriber appetite for movies that go deeper than the Hollywood stereotypes that often make African viewers groan.

 

Subscribers to the world's largest streaming service can now watch Poacher, a Kenyan drama about elephant poaching and Òlòtūré, a Nigerian thriller about a journalist whose world falls apart after she goes undercover as a sex worker.

 

The films avoid the simplistic portrayals that viewers in Africa often resent, the producers say.

 

Netflix has begun screening more content produced in Africa, and in June released romantic comedy "Cook Off", Zimbabwe's first offering on the streaming service.

 

Poacher, the first Kenyan film released on Netflix, uses drama to show the lives of everyday people involved in poaching.

 

"It's very simple to point fingers," said Davina Leonard, who co-wrote, co-produced, and stars in Poacher. "When you start a drama, now you're looking at the people and their motivations."

 

The film's other star, Brian Ogola, hopes Poacher will spur people to action.

 

"It's still not enough if we want our grandchildren to see some of these animals in their natural habitat."

 

The film ends with a statistic from the World Wildlife Foundation: if current trends continue, elephants will be extinct by 2040.

 

The other movie, Òlòtūré, joins a host of Nigerian films on the platform, which has nearly 193 million subscribers globally.

 

Òlòtūré was shot on the gritty streets and in rundown homes of Lagos. It tells the story of impoverished sex workers lured into being trafficked overseas. Human Rights Watch ranks Nigeria a top origin country of trafficking victims in Europe and elsewhere.

 

In one scene, a businessman drugs and rapes the undercover journalist at a party. In another, sex workers endure a voodoo initiation to scare them into loyalty to pimps trafficking them to Italy.

 

"I am very happy that this conversation has started so that the government will sit up to their responsibility, so that the agencies that are tasked with fighting human trafficking in Nigeria will maybe clamour for more funding or sit up and do better," said co-producer James Amuta.

 

(Reporting by Nazanine Moshiri and Angela Ukomadu; Writing by Maggie Fick; Editing by Katharine Houreld and Giles Elgood)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-10-17
 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, daoyai said:

ok, the first stereotype they challenge is that all africans are thin... done, then they go after the stereotype that Lagos is a center of drugs, prostitution and human trafficking.... oh wait, never mind.

I know what you getting at I have never seen an Slim African all my life

apart from that you are correct

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I'd rather watch the Qbanguy shorties... 

 

 

 

Edited by tifino

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Didn’t expect anything else from the comment section! But if it goes the other way round they get all riled up! Pathetic! 

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This is the way it should be. Rather than complaining that "Hollywood" doesn't do it the way they want - it's better they go and do it themselves. the amount of uneducated drivel from people complaining that Gal Gadot is culturally appropriating "Cleopatra" (new movie she will be starring in) - is pathetic. It's not incumbent on any one, anywhere to make a movie based on any thing. 

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