Michael Chiedoziem Chukwudera
One of the very ugly aspects of a country like Nigeria is how its brutal economic realities affect its youth and sets them on a path of desperation. Often, these paths are presented to them like a straightforward road to a goldmine. And they take the road only to find the true nature of the path they have taken, unfold before them. What once appeared like the road to salvation, along the way, diverges into paths of uncertainties. The movie, Oloturé, directed by Kenneth Gyang, shines the light on a typical scenario where this anecdote manifests itself.
Oloturé is a young journalist who is passionate about telling the story of young sex workers. She is not just interested in telling their stories on the surface, but also delves in the intricacies of their lives. So intense is her passion that Oloturé disguises herself as Ehi and joins a brothel in order to experience in full, the reality of being a sex worker, in order to tell the story as real as she could. In the process, led by the dictates of her ambition, she inevitably, against her own will, takes a deeper plunge into the waters and gets a bit more than she bargains for.
Oloturé’s adventure is one of daredevilry. She takes a plunge into the deep waters at such high risk with the aim of making it out unscathed with an experiential human-angle story. We watch her struggle to stay afloat in the situation she willingly walked into. And what was meant to be a conquest becomes a portrayal of the brutal realities which the conquest aims to unravel. Oloturé becomes the very story which she aims to tell.
The movie does quite well in its overall execution and in its use of pidgin English which is the lingua franca of prostitutes in Southern Nigeria. The movie also depict accurately the setting which mirror the environment in which these brothels exist. The movie even goes further in revealing some of the politics and power tussle which goes on in the commercial sex industry, as well as, the various experiences of sex workers including sexual and emotional abuse.
Another dimension of the story worth mentioning is its depiction of the cruel experiences undergone by these sex workers, in addition to the money paid by them, in order to be trafficked out of Nigeria. It unravels the emotional and physical abuse, as well as the diabolical objectification involved in the long road through the harrowing landscapes to greener pastures.
The movie succeeds in good measure in communicating the emotions involved in the stories which it tells. And it succeeds in taking us deep into the lives of many of the characters. It presents to us their unique struggles and aspirations, and how each battles introduces itself with its uniqueness, particularly that of Oloturé who unintentionally leads her best friend at the brothel to a fatal situation, after which she is faced with a dilemma we did not see her solve.
Oloturé is a portrayal of a well-known reality that continuously reoccurs over and over again, without any solution currently in sight. It is raw and heart-breaking. The movie is well-directed and teaches a thing or two unknown to even brothel customers who do not work or stay regularly around these brothels.
How true art imitates life; Oloturé’s story imitates the life story of the sex worker which it strives to tell. This is even as we are heartbroken at the end of the movie when the warrior set on a conquest becomes yet another victim, and leaves us longing and thinking deeply about the fate of the characters which have the look of uncertainty plastered all over their faces as they journey to oblivion.
Rate : 7/10
Michael Chiedoziem Chukwudera is a writer and journalist and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Credits: IrokoTV, IMDB,Youtube
Categories: Culture and Lifestyle