The Nigerian characteristic “Eyimofe” is about many alternative issues — migration, exploitation, misogyny — but it surely’s primarily about cash. Following the lives of two people in Lagos, each of whom dream of immigrating to Europe to higher their prospects, the movie traces an internet of Nigerian naira — forex wanted for hospital payments, housing payments, lawyer payments, countless payments — that entraps the characters, sucking them in deeper the more durable they attempt to escape. They’re on the mercy of a metropolis the place each interplay is a transaction, and the place the myths of bootstrap capitalism come to die.
Mofe (Jude Akuwudike), who leads the primary of the movie’s two halves, lives in a cramped slum together with his sister and nephews, and works as a mechanic at a dangerously ramshackle restore store to save lots of up sufficient to immigrate to Spain. Rosa (Temi Ami-Williams), the main focus of the movie’s second chapter, lives in the identical neighborhood together with her pregnant teenage sister. Rosa works two jobs, and but is compelled to cope with unsavory characters — together with a predatory businesswoman and a lovesick landlord — to pay her payments and procure visas to Italy.
Each Mofe and Rosa are struck by harrowing private tragedies that in a special movie — and with completely different actors — may take over the narrative. Each characters, nevertheless, hold transferring with the stoicism of somebody for whom hardship is the norm. Moreover, there isn’t actually any time to mourn: The payments proceed to pile up, with even loss of life involving a fancy paperwork and hefty value. Rosa sees a glimmer of hope when an American expat begins courting her, however she’s quickly compelled to succumb to the very stereotype his wealthy, condescending mates have of her: a gold digger. Survival and manipulation are blurred when one is so determined, leaving little room for something as honest as need.
With aerial photographs of Lagos’s bustling marketplaces and a sound design attuned to the town’s chatter, the administrators, Arie and Chuko Esiri, evocatively seize a milieu the place everybody — wealthy or poor — is all the time hustling and bargaining. The cinematographer Arseni Khachaturan shoots on heat, grainy 16-millimeter movie, which emphasizes not simply the colourful colours of Lagos but in addition its textures. The warmth, mud and crumbling facades of Mofe and Rosa’s world distinction with the rarefied air and shiny surfaces of the venues the place Rosa’s boyfriend takes her on dates. The portrait of life that emerges organically from this understated, observant strategy makes “Eyimofe” the uncommon social realist drama that conveys critique with out didacticism and empathy with out pity.
Eyimofe (This Is My Need)
Not rated. In Nigerian English with subtitles. Operating time: 1 hour 56 minutes. In theaters.