Director : Moses Eskor
Producer : Ndy Akan
Main Cast : Ireti Doyle, Sola Sobowale, Becky Odungide, Ndy Akan, Germanicus Antonio, Sam Dede, Abasi Kam, Emma Etukudo, Lois Ikpaha and Emmanuel Owuala
Genre : Drama/Historical
Release Date :April 19, 2019
Awesome-o-Metre : 3.0/10
Revue of 1929
1929 is the true story about the Ikot Abasi Women War against the British colonial masters and warrant chiefs about the imposition of taxes on women. Led by Madam Udo Udoma (Ireti Doyle) and Iya Yoruba (Sola Sobowale) many women rioted leading to a loss of lives of women.
It is an admirable project when someone wants to bring a piece of our rich Nigerian history to the big screen, so it was with great excitement that I rushed to the cinema on the release date to see 1929 and let’s just say I was less than impressed. Look, when you want to do a period film, you must be ready to put in the work with plenty of research and attention to details. Sadly, the producers of 1929 failed on these counts. There were so may errors especially in the use of costumes, make up and even the props weren’t properly researched. The producers should have invested more time and resources in getting the period accurately. For instance, take a look at the screengrab below and you will see a whole big ass energy saving light bulb. Really? A danm lightbulb in 1929?
Furthermore, I must say that the character’s performances weren’t good enough. Ireti Doyle is fantastic as the rebellious women leader screaming and stirring the women but Sola Sobowale let her comical and dramatic side show too much and dampened the defiant character she was supposed to be playing. Also, the extras in 1929 may have been wrongly briefed on the kind of film they were playing because most of them were comical about everything they were doing. For instance, the soldiers who were killing the women were being comical about it. How do soldiers kill women while posing like clowns? SMH.
My greatest problem with 1929 is that it just didn’t feel like 1929 at all. There should have been better color grading, acting, props, costumes to give us the feel of 1929, The producers chose to shoot the whole film outdoors using bushes and huts as sceneries to hide their inadequacies- they should go and watch ‘76 to learn how period films are shot.
Lastly, the plot of the film is one that we all know (or goggled) about but it would have made better entertainment if there was an engaging subplot. Though there was a love story in the film, it wasn’t property exploited or executed so it just felt like an aside rather than a subplot. I guess the idea of 1929 is to be a historical reference rather than an entertaining piece and If that’s the case, then the producers should have just shot a documentary rather than a full feature.