Apr 14, 2010
A film company in Lagos controls 200 subsidiaries that make popular films which never make it to the movie theaters but are instead distributed across Africa on DVD. 600 new productions every week. Is this a new flowering of cinema? The subject matter is certainly tough enough.
–What sort of things do they tackle?
–One film, for example, is about three women who go to Europe as sex workers. Before setting off, they go to their tribal medicine man to acquire some “good luck.” But they don’t have any good luck in Europe. The medicine man who sold them the charms has moved to New York. It turns out that a new baby needs to be sacrificed for the promised miraculous luck to become a reality.
–The women travel to New York
–Yes, that’s exactly what happens in the movie. They force the magician to marry one of them and to sacrifice the child who is born soon afterward. And from then on they expect their second expedition into the heart of Europe to bring them the required good luck.
–Is there any censorship?
–The DVDs are beyond the reach of censorship.
–Do critics help disseminate the products?
–There are no critics.
–Is there any feedback to suggest how the products are received by the customers?
–The feedback of cash.
–Which suggests that this type of product is satisfying a real demand.
(From Cinema Stories by Alexander Kluge, trans. by Martin Brady and Helen Hughes, 2007)