By Oyero Abiodun Yakub
The Nigeria movie industry is fast getting more international recognition, following the release of Kemi Adetiba’s King of Boys and Kunle Afolayan’s Anikulapo – which was later nominated for the Oscars award – on Netflix amongst other Nollywood movies, the industry has a new one on the International streaming site. This time it is Biyi Bandele’s Elesin Oba, The King’s Horseman.
The film, which ran for 96 minutes on average, is based on a true story set in 1940s Oyo Town in southwestern Nigeria. The film is about the ritual suicide performed by the King’s horseman after his death in order to ease his journey into the lands of the gods and thus prevent calamity from befalling the community. The horseman’s inability to control his sexual urges caused him to fail in his duty, resulting in a confrontation with the British and a disastrous outcome. As a result, the king’s journey to the land of the gods was cut short.
Below are five facts about the new movie:
- The plot is based on Prof. Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman, a stage play he wrote in 1975 while a fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge. The play was inspired by a true incident that occurred in Yorubaland during British colonial rule.
- The film is the final known work of award-winning filmmaker Biyi Bandele, who passed away in August 2022, before the film was released. Biyi is best known for directing Half of a Yellow Sun, a film based on Chimamanda Adichie’s book of the same name, as well as MTV’s Shuga.
- The film was first shown on September 9, 2022, at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film was then released in cinemas on October 28, 2022, before being released on Netflix on November 4, 2022.
- The film was produced and distributed by Netflix in collaboration with Mo Abudu’s Ebonylife Studio.
- The film stars a slew of industry heavyweights, including Odunlade Adekola, Shaffy Bello, Brymo (who also recorded the soundtrack), Deyemi Okanlawon, Jide Kosoko, Joke Silva, and a host of others.