New film documents women’s role in Nigeria’s pro-democracy struggle

New film documents women’s role in Nigeria’s pro-democracy struggle

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 8:00 am


Hafsat Abiola

Hafsat Abiola

An award-winning documentary film THE SUPREME PRICE, about women and the pro-democracy movement in Nigeria, will be broadcast on AfriDocs in 49 Countries across sub-Saharan Africa on October 1st, 2015, the Anniversary of Nigeria’s Independence.

Produced and Directed by filmmaker Joanna Lipper, the film won the Gucci Tribeca Spotlighting Women Documentary Award, was named Best Documentary at the African International Film Festival (AFRIFF), and is currently nominated for an African Movie Academy Award (AMAA) – Best Documentary, and nominated for the Grierson Awards – Best Historical Documentary.

The film centres on Nigeria’s pro-democracy struggle after the annulment of the June 12 election won by MKO Abiola and details the struggle of the wife, Kudirat, up to her assassination in 1996. It also dwells on Nigeria’s democratic march up to the election of Goodluck Jonathan in 2011.

Director Joanna Lipper elegantly explores past and present as she tells this deeply moving and intriguing story through the eyes of M.K.O and Kudirat Abiola’s eldest daughter, Hafsat Abiola, who was about to graduate from Harvard when her mother was murdered. Her father died in prison two years later under mysterious circumstances. Determined not to let her parents’ democratic ideals die with them, Hafsat returns to Nigeria after years in exile and is at the forefront of a progressive movement to empower women and dismantle the patriarchal structure of Nigerian society.

In this riveting political thriller, the Abiola family’s intimate story unfolds against the epic backdrop of Nigeria’s evolution from independence in 1960 – through the Biafra War, subsequent military dictatorships and the tumultuous transition to civilian rule – through President Goodluck Jonathan’s victory in the 2011 elections as Hafsat continues to face the challenge of transforming a corrupt culture of governance into a democracy capable of serving Nigeria’s most marginalized population: women

Filmmaker Joanna Lipper combines daring reporting, exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes access shot during numerous trips to the unstable country with incredible, heart-stopping archival footage from some of the nation’s most politically tumultuous, violent and corrupt periods during the past fifty years.

Filmmaker Joanna Lipper explains “I’m deeply honoured to be having our African Broadcast Premiere in 49 Countries on October 1st, a significant date which marks 55 years of Nigerian Independence. Following the recent pivotal election of President Muhammadu Buhari in Spring 2015, this is an ideal moment in time for viewers across the continent to contemplate Nigeria’s complex, historic, political evolution as a nation as well as an opportunity for me as a filmmaker to raise awareness and spark provocative discussions about women’s rights and political participation in present-day Nigeria.”

*Press Statement by Afridocs

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