The Chronicles, a historical movie hits big screen
The public premiere followed an earlier press screening of the film, which gave showbiz reporters an opportunity to be among the first set of Nigerians to see the movie that centers on the Mbaise people of Imo State.
Largely based on facts, the movie aims to set the record straight, change the narratives and correct the misconception about the Mbaise people, especially that popular adage that, “when you see a snake and an Mbaise man, spare the snake and kill the Mbaise man.”
Though emanated from the popular 1970’s band, The Oriental Brothers, many are unaware of what transpired among the band members that led to the coining of the misleading adage.
Produced by Frank Ufomadu and directed by Caliph Ibn. Uzar, the movies, which stars notable Nollywood stars such as Onyeka Owenu, Segun Arinze, Victor Osuagwu, Collins Talker, Daniel Lloyd, Giovanni Grossman, Avinanash Bhavanni, Okey Jude, Felix Omorkhodian, Zikky Aloy and others, deals with the genesis of the adage, as well as unveils interactions the Mbaise ancestors had with the British imperialists when they landed on their shores through Calabar, a period when the Highlife was gaining momentum in Nigeria.
Shot in Oyo, Imo and Lagos, the story is recounted through three generations; the Colonial era, Post-colonial era and the 21st century as told by a grandmother (played by Onyeka Owenu) to her grandchildren, who were constantly being taunted by their classmates in school having believed that people from Mbaise were wicked.
Obviously, Ufomadu is concerned about the narrative around Mbaise people and now wishes to address it through the movie.
“At a point, I became concerned about the negative impact this adage and story had on our people and in the quest for the truth, I carried out an extensive research to get the accurate information of what transpired back then. We visited and spoke to elders in different communities in Mbaise just to know the truth about our history, which we captured in the movie.”
On why it took three years to shot the movie, he explained, “the narrator, who was the oldest indigene in Mbaise, was 110 years old when we began speaking with him on the subject. As a result of his age, we had to make do with whatever information he could provide at any point in time.”
Meanwhile, the initial production budget for the movie was N20million, but at some point, it was used up prompting the infusion of an additional three million to wrap it up.
“I found out that the youths we have today don’t even read again, but the moment you put your story via the TV medium, they’ll stay glued to the TV. Hardly will you see them tune into Discovery channel, which if it had been a documentary would have aired on that channel, but they won’t watch it. So, I thought about the best way to reach the target audience and I realised it was through film. They like going to the cinemas and watching Africa magic movie based channels. If I later on do a documentary then anyone who has watched the film and wants to learn more will then be keen to watch the documentary.”
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