MOVIES: USING FILMS TO CONDEMN BARBARIC TRADITIONS
Nigerian and Cameroonian artists have joined their voices through the film “The Blues Kingdom” to say No! to female genital mutilation (FGM), breast ironing, child trafficking and other barbaric acts so recurrent in our society. “The Blues Kingdom”, a co-production between Cameroonian and Nigerian artists is directed by the popular Nigerian artist, Zack Orji and produced by a youthful Cameroonian, Gilbert Agbor Ebot. “The Blues Kingdom” is the fourth film jointly produced by Nigerian and Cameroonian artists after “Before the Sunrise I and II”, “Wandy” and the “Peace Offering”.
Gilbert Agbor Ebot says they are out to reinforce the fight against barbaric traditional values that are still being upheld in many regions in Cameroon and Nigeria. As the film unfolds, Ayum Joe (Zack Orji), after several years in the United States, decides to go home with his family to Toncoron (Mamfe, South West Province), his land of birth. It is meant to be a holiday; but it turns out to be a nightmare when the Mfor (traditional head) of Toncoron chose Anna, Joe's daughter as his queen-to-be. As a prerequisite, the queen-to-be must undergo circumcision and also perform the “Monikim” dance; two practices, the Ayums consider inhuman and unthinkable. Ayum Joe and his family fight frantically to rescue Anna from the shackles of traditional practices they consider as barbaric. It is only after a military intervention from the government that such practices end in the area.
The film tries to educate people against those traditional practices that bring agony to individuals and the population at large. This is the about the fourth film that is being produced with expertise of Nigerian and Cameroonian artists. Gilbert Agbor says reason why they work with Nigerian artists is because the film industry in Nigeria is well advanced as they are the third in the world after Bollywood and Hollywood in India and United States respectively.