Movies, family values and the society

A movie is the product of a creative work of art brought out of a deep thought based on the reality of the environment and the society at large. Its underlying motive and intention is to create another channel of relaxation in the various entertainment media with a view to enhancing cultural integration and values.

A quality movie is multi-dimensional and multi-faceted in function. It educates, motivates, inspires, entertains, analyzes and provides a chain of connection between the viewers/audience and the society. Since the society is the amalgamation of different cultures, values and traditions attributable to different set of people, then the films being produced must be devoid of ethnic coloration and discrimination. It must provide a melting point where the different beliefs, opinions and perspectives  of people will be melted to give room to a whole entity of national unity irrespective of our tribal divides. Such a thing is needed in our country Nigeria where ethnicity and tribalism thrive.

The film industry in Nigeria particularly had gone through many stages of evolving and reformation. It had gone beyond the use of crude instruments to the adoption of sophisticated technology in production but we are still not at it. The main thrust why we produce movies is still not achieved. Many families converge in their various homes in the evening after the hustle and bustle for survival that had gulped a larger chunk of the day to relax and cool their heels. They opt always for movies most of which last for two hours or less. The values the family is trying to protect and integrate further must not be derided. Nothing must also override it. But we see a situation whereby the kids or toddlers in various homes begin to imbibe the wrong things. These children have magnetic brains that attract anything at the disposal of their reach and beck and call.

The injection and introduction of foreign culture and traditions into our movies had done more harm than good to us. And this is where the issue of moderation and probity was not put in the right perspective. There must be an extent to which we can go and a guiding principle that will regulate the message the movies carry. This is the point where the functions of the various regulatory bodies we have in the film industry lie fallow. The Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) and the other bodies bodies must rise to the occasion for which they were set up. Besides fighting piracy, there are other burning issues that are begging for urgent attention. Chief among them is what the various movies are teaching the society.

We all are claiming to be championing the cause of sanitizing and advancing the movie industry. The production of many sub-standard movies within a week is not a tool for sanitizing the system. The overriding ambition to become the number one country in the world that produces movies is neither an instrument of advancing the industry. When we begin to have a blend of culture with modernization for the purpose of exposing the richness of what makes us Nigerians, it becomes the right step in the right direction.

The problem began when many actors and actresses took a flight to the comfort of home videos at the expense of stage plays or theater. There’s a distinction between stage plays and home videos. But it’s unfortunate that home videos are more rampant and mostly in vogue now compared to theater.

I appreciate the depth of research that goes into operation before staging any play. It reminds the audience the what, why and how of the play. The directing sagacity of the producer or director makes it to be rich in content and context. It actually does not require A-list actors and actresses to be paraded. It only needs the person that can re-enact the features of the original character on the stage. One thing such play teaches which the audience appreciates is what it teaches and the projection of our culture in a modern light.

Author: Olajide Oluwafemi