Nigerian action thriller, “The Black Book,” has achieved remarkable global viewership on Netflix, highlighting the growing influence of Nigeria’s film industry. This movie delves into a compelling narrative of corruption and police brutality in Africa’s most populous nation.
“The Black Book” has taken the streaming world by storm, consistently ranking among Netflix’s top 10 English-language titles globally, even reaching the third position during its second week. Just 48 hours after its release on September 22, it garnered an astounding 5.6 million views, and by the second week, it was featured among the top 10 titles in 69 countries.
Nollywood, Nigeria’s film industry, has been a global phenomenon since the 1990s, and “The Black Book” is another testament to its success. This $1 million production was financed with support from experts and founders in Nigeria’s tech ecosystem and is producer Editi Effiong’s first feature film. It explores Nigeria’s tumultuous history, spanning four decades, from military regimes that executed dissidents to the current prevalence of police brutality and power abuse.
The story begins with the abduction of the family members of Nigeria’s oil regulatory agency head, with corrupt police officers aiding top politicians. To cover their tracks, the police frame and kill a young man as the suspect, not realizing he is the only child of a former special operative turned pastor, Paul Edima.
Edima, played by Nigerian movie icon Richard Mofe-Damijo, was once known as Nigeria’s “most dangerous man” due to his involvement in assassinations and coups across West Africa. However, as a repentant man inspired by his favorite Bible passage, he seeks revenge for his son’s death, highlighting the issue of delayed justice in Nigeria.
Effiong believes the film is a powerful tool to shed light on Nigeria’s history and its impact on the present. He emphasizes the importance of positively changing society through art and addressing the issue of police brutality.
“The Black Book” has been compared to the American action thriller “John Wick,” a flattering comparison that underscores its success. It also serves as a symbol of Nigeria’s and Africa’s film industry potential. The continent’s streaming on-demand video market is expected to grow significantly, with Netflix committed to investing in African content.
In summary, “The Black Book” is not only a gripping film but also a testament to Nigeria’s burgeoning film industry and the potential for African storytelling on the global stage. It highlights the importance of addressing social issues through art and promoting justice.