On the 26th of July 2009, Nigeria joined the fraternity of countries to suffer from terrorist attacks; something that would have been inconceivable in previous years as, despite difficulties, Nigerians weren’t thought of as suicidal. Since then, news of bombings have become disturbingly recurrent. Like every other response to catastrophe in the country, the nation – especially those in parts not directly affected by these specific attacks – has become desensitized, if only because it’s the only coping mechanism.
Cinema all over the world has been a way of shining a light on such issues. Terrorism and it’s impact on Americans has been covered in films like “The Siege,” “The Kingdom” and many others. But as it’s a fairly new occurrence in Nigeria, not much has been put on the screen that explores this subject… not until recently.
Actor/Director Udoka Oyeka’s film “No Good Turn” looks at the issue from the backyard of the nation’s financial capital; when events hit close to home, it’s a very different experience than reading about it in the paper.
Short form content seems to be the best way to tell some of these stories at the moment in Nigeria, and as new voices continue to emerge in the industry, let’s hope it expands into feature films and television series.
“No Good Turn” tells the story of the immediate aftermath of a Boko Haram terrorist attack, and is set in an overcrowded Emergency Room of the town’s deteriorating hospital. The doctor on duty, Dr. Gbenga, has his hands full, especially when one of the suspected terrorists is brought into the hospital for treatment. Dr. Gbenga must fight to keep everyone’s values in check, including his own.
The full film is available to watch online, and is embedded below. But first, in the audio excerpt that follows, star and director Oyeka is interviewed about the film, during which he explains why he decided to make it:
And here’s the full short film, which is about 17 minutes long: