A must watch movie: Òlòtūré

By Tatenda Marwodzi

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If you have not yet watched Netflix original crime drama Òlòtūré, which uncovers the world of human trafficking in Nigeria, then you are missing out. After trending on social media for weeks and being on the global top 10 list, only those living under a rock have not heard about this stellar Nollywood production.

Quick disclaimer- the film contains drugs, violence, sex and strong language which may not be suitable for younger viewers.

Set in modern-day Nigeria, the story follows an undercover journalist, Òlòtūré, as she explores the streets of Nigeria as a “lady of the night” with the hope of writing an expose on human trafficking. The background of why she chose to go through all this for a piece in the newspaper was not clearly explained, however, her escapades as a sex worker will have you hooked to the TV screen.

The film wittily shows the viewer the raw Nigerian nightlife with the most interesting characters. The women smoke cigarettes non-stop, live in appalling hostels and have the occasional fight with the hostel landlady who makes a point of always reminding the girls how important it is to please men if they do not want to be evicted.

The men on the other hand, who are usually corrupt pot-bellied politicians and businessman, host extravagant parties and have these women as their “muse”.

And then there is Alero, who connects these women to the powerful men. Her role is where the storyline of sex trafficking is really hinged on. Over and above sourcing girls for the pleasure of men, she is the mastermind who smuggles these girls (who desperately want to escape poverty in Nigeria) to Europe.

The film goes on to show the viewer scenes of extreme gender-based violence, drug abuse and corruption.

Asked on the reasons for telling such a thought-provoking story, director Kenneth Gyang had this to say:

“As filmmakers, we have a duty to both entertain and enlighten our audience. Audiences mostly do not want to be taught an in-your-face lesson. What we have been able to do is make a film that could steer the audience and policymakers towards deep reflection. It would be nice if it informs young African women that it is not always paradise across the Mediterranean.”

And true to his words, the movie is surprisingly entertaining while educating viewers on a very important topic.Òlòtūré was produced by EbonyLife Films in 2018 and was later bought by Netflix in September 2020. It became a Netflix top 10 movie in a number of countries including Brazil, Nigeria and South Africa. It has been available for streaming since October 2.

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