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Nollywood Babylon


List Price: $29.95
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Product Details

  • Actors: Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen
  • Directors: Ben Addelman, Samir Mallal
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: July 20, 2010
  • Run Time: 74 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003H221N2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,453 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Nollywood Babylon" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Welcome to the wild and wacky world of Nollywood, Nigerias explosive homegrown movie industry, where Jesus and voodoo vie for screen time. Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen, known in Lagos as Da Governor, is one of the most influential men in Nollywood, a term coined in the early 1990s for the worlds fastest-growing national cinema, surpassed only by its American and Indian counterparts. This critically acclaimed documentary is peppered with outrageously juicy movie clips and buoyed by a rousing score that fuses Afropop and traditional sounds, NOLLYWOOD BABYLON celebrates the distinctive power of Nigerian cinema as it marvels in the magic of movies.

Review

Compelling portrait of the Nigerian Movie Industry --CBC News

Irresistible --Los Angeles Times

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Format: DVD
The Nigerian film industry, which is strictly straight-to-video, took off in 1992 with the success of "Living in Bondage", a potboiler about a man who sells his soul to the Devil in exchange for material success. Now "Nollywood", based in Lagos, produces 2500 films a year, most with budgets under $15,000, making it the third-largest film industry in the world, after the USA's Hollywood and India's Bollywood. Nigerians have an extraordinary appetite for film; watching several a day isn't uncommon. The crime rate in Lagos being what it is, the few theaters showing foreign films present too much danger and expense for the average person, so there is a huge market for video, especially videos that represent or codify the Nigerian experience: hardship, optimism, action, melodrama, occult, and Christianity. Documentarians Ben Addelman and Samir Mallal traveled to Lagos to see Nollywood in action and hear what Nigerians think about it.

The opening scene is of director Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen blessing his film set and camera on the film day of shooting his 157th film, "Bent Arrows". Mr. Imasuen gave the documentarians access to his entire shoot, and they return to him repeatedly to meet the cast and crew, see how these low-budget films are shot, and to interview the director about the industry. They also get interviews with the some big Nollywood stars, who express a pride and ambition for their industry that seems to permeate all strata of those who work in it or enjoy the final product. These hokey melodramas speak to Africans, and the people who work on them are proud to do so. It's a makeshift industry, funded by the electronics vendors who sell the videos in the streets. It seems to have no real structure that would prevent it from disappearing tomorrow.
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Format: DVD
"Nollywood Babylon" examines the phenomenal success of the Nigerian film industry, the third largest in terms of film output in the world (after Bollywood and Hollywood). While there had been films made in Nigeria since the early days of cinema, in the past few decades there just wasn't a market for theatrical releases. A new opportunity developed with the rise of the VHS and a street market for bootlegged films. A group of entrepeneurial marketers of VHS tapes thought they could add value to their wares by recording homemade movies on their blank cassette tapes, and soon there was a huge demand for homegrown movies with local actors. While many of these films seem like variations on popular genres such as melodrama, or the crime film, some of the more intriguing "Nollywood" films explore in fantastic ways some of the conflicts between local religious traditions and Western religious beliefs. This fast-paced and intriguing documentary examines the rise of this homegrown industry from its modest beginnings to the point where it has become a vibrant local industry, that is just now beginning to gain international recognition. It also gives an intimate behind-the-scenes look at a recent film production by Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen, one of the most popular and prolific Nigerian filmmakers. The editing is strong, the footage intriguing, and the music throughout is exciting. This is a riveting and revealing exploration of the unique style and subject matter and personalities behind the ultra-low-budget Nigerian films, and a vibrant portrayal of Lagos, Nigeria, a modern African metropolis. Highly recommended for lovers of unique cinema from around the world.
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Nollywood Babylon
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