In Cinemas: Voiceless is more than a creative adaptation of Boko Haram’s insurgency
From November 20, 2020, Cinemas across Nigeria starts showing a Hausa language feature length film titled Voiceless. A gripping flick about the Insugency in Northern Nigeria as produced by Rogers Ofime’s Native Media.
Voiceless becomes another film budget attempt to tell a Nigerian story by Nigerians. The story told here is a creative adaptation of the April 14th, 2014 Boko Haram attack on Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State that saw the abduction of over 250 schoolgirls and the global #BringBackOurGirls campaign.
This Robert Peters direction however infuses an exploration of the plight of male Boko Haram abductees and the difficulty of re-integrating them and female victims back into the society.
Journalists, filmmakers and other media personalities that saw the film in a media screening, post cinema launch, all agreed that the movie is one destined for global impacts and attention.
Veteran Director, Tade Ogidan, says it is an Oscar Academy standard. In the same voice, Bolanle Austen-Peters nods to the film’s magic and relevance. As for the Producer the project became a necessity to help rehabilitate victims of Boko Haram insurgents, “It’s a way of rehabilitating people in whatever way we can. We made the film because we believe the message will resonate more if it is done in the indigenous language. The story is too strong for us to do it in the English language. If it had happened in Western Nigeria, we would have done it in the Yoruba language. The actors also enhanced the movie because they spoke in their native tongues; it was believable. If we, I mean filmmakers, start to tell our stories in the languages that they belong, that story will resonate better.”
The movie stars Esther Asabe Phillips, Adam Garba, Rekiya Attah, Sani Muazu, Uzee Usman and Yakubu Mohammed and more. The storyline centers on Salma (Philips) and Goni (Garba), captured by terrorists. And the movie is well sub-titled in English and with out of the world special effects.
The girls’ sufferings in the insurgents’ camp are well captured. The agony of the parents, whose daughters were adbucted were also properly documented. Forinstance, the pains of Baba Salma, the no-nonsense father who tries all his best to get his child back from captivity, only for her to return with a child, is also well interpreted. Baba Salma fights and struggles to accept the sad reality.
It’s a movie revealing the pain, hurt, anguish and tears of the ordinary humans involved in the sad history. They are voiceless even in the violence and sorrow around them. But this movie gives them a voice.
After the press preview of the movie, Phillips, the lead actress explained to the press that we should not also overlook the plight of male abductees. She says the boys were victims too because some of them were forced to do what they did. She talks about the society’s responsibility in accepting them and showing them love.
She said, “My role was emotional. When I got home, I was still traumatized because it is a true event. Knowing it happened to people made it more traumatizing for me. When I got home, I told my family how I was feeling and they kept talking to me that some of the girls had been rescued. That some were abroad and had a life while some were dead. I had to pray to God to take it all away, and gradually it went away. Sometimes I played music and danced; I did things that made me happy so I took out all the sadness from me.”