2009 was the year of a lot. And I was an eager three hundred level student at the University of Lagos. But one thing was at centre of my periphery, ‘The Figurine’. There was a lot of hype on that man. It was a Nigerian movie with so many accolades. So I schemed for weeks, and on a glorious Wednesday, marched to the E –Center at Yaba to see that.
It was great to see ‘The Figurine’, a Nigerian movie with clear picture quality, an intriguing plot and that was my first experience with the sublime acting skills of Omoni Oboli.
Fast forward to 2014, and it’s October 1st, the movie by the same producer, Kunle Afolayan. I’m here again and very expectant.
October 1st is a thriller built on a series of virgin girl killings and a Police Inspector who must find the killer before Nigeria gains independence on the 1st of October 1960. It is the story of intertwined destinies experiencing the side effects that come with enlightenment. It keeps you guessing and guessing. As the killer’s identity unravels, we are led into a tale of childhood molestation at the hand of a priest, the quest for vengeance and an untamed rage that consumes everything in its path. It is a tale of vengeance and love, forgiveness and anger, royalty and religion; and we experience life from the hermit, Police Inspector and the Prince of Akote’s eyes. Surely, it is not all dark and gory as there is a place for humour in Inspector Waziri and his assistant, Inspector Afonja.
If October 1st was a discussion, it would be a spirited, lively one. It was amazing jumping from imperialism one moment to sexuality the next. The beauty of October 1st is that despite all the heavy issues it revolved around, it was not gloomy.
October 1st is spirited and lively as its plot weaves across different scenes without a dull moment. We experience the producer’s magic as he uses relatively unknown actors to create a gripping movie.
The movie makes you wonder about the various ways pain is expressed and managed. We have the Stockholm Syndrome where the oppressed feel emotionally attached and develop amity for their oppressor. We have the Lima Syndrome where the oppressor feels an emotional connection with the oppressed and there is Frantz Fanon’s theory that when people have been oppressed over a period of time, at the cessation of this, the oppressed will replicate the oppressive relationship. This means the slave will become a slave master. I think this is what happens in October 1st as the victim of molestation becomes a molester par excellence.
As a connoisseur of Kunle Afolayan’s works, I think October 1st was a tad predictable. The village which is plagued by murders that appear to be religious but turn out to be humanly orchestrated is a theme that has been flogged in his previous works.