Jonathan (Joseph Benjamin), a corps member, is posted to an interior village for his primary assignment; but he dislikes the place and tries securing redeployment to a more developed place. His relocation is delayed and whilst working in a community bank in the rural area, he notices that the villagers, who are poor farmers and traders, are fleeced of their wares by a profiteering trader. His love interest, Dr. Dafe (Queen Nwokoye), a fellow corps member, is dismayed that people die due to preventable diseases and together they set out to redress the situation; meeting brick walls and threats to their lives.
Dr. Dafe’s subplot is better than the main plot, which is the Jonathan story. Affordability and access to quality health care remain huge problems for the Nigerian masses, especially rural dwellers. If the Dr. Dafe subplot had been explored, the film may have turned out to be a hit.
In the days of my great grandparents, farmers travelled from one town to another and even outside the country, especially in Francophone Africa to market their produce. So, the question of a monopoly in terms of purchasing crops is far-fetched. The woman, Elizabeth (Cynthia Okereke) did not cast a spell on them and, actually, the laws of demand and supply are always at play.
If this story was set in pre-colonial Nigeria, one could ignore the exaggeration of the swindler’s story. Thus, it is incorrect for anyone to portray 21st century Nigeria in such a primitive light!
What if the people were facing transportation problems in conveying their crops to big markets in other towns or in the city and the corps member, who comes from a privileged background, persuades his rich parents to donate one or two trucks to aid them? Better still, the young man could have become a businessman by buying the trucks and subsidizing transport fares for the villagers since he feels their pulse.
If the Dafe subplot had been made the main plot, the writers could have made the viewers see, first hand, how people heavily rely on traditional medical practitioners and only appear in health facilities at the eleventh hour. The dangers posed by the over-reliance of rural dwellers on Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) could also have been examined in an entertaining way.
Hidden Hunger is full of unrealized potential. This movie is a combination of the fair and the ridiculous. One had expected a better motion picture from Bond Emeruwa, the co-director of Mortal Inheritance, Heart of Gold, Freedom in Chains and Scattered Pictures (a series). https://vimeo.com/16439664