Duration: 120 minutes
Year of production: 2017
Producer: Akindele Alao
Production Company: IHimage Media Concept
Reviewer: Olutayo Irantiola
Storytelling is a fundamental part of Yoruba culture and this spills in the volume of Oral literature that people are still making attempts to capture in various forms of arts. This was the fulcrum on which Akindele Alao built this flick, Ibidamipe, around. The story hung upon the charge of a Professor of History to a graduating class and all he used was a story about a Pregnancy.
His narration was centered on a lady, Ibidamipe, who walked into a town, Ayeda, which was experiencing great calamities. They had consulted all their intermediaries with the creator but they could not get a solution. However, there was a young man who was at a loggerhead with the King has said that the solution to the challenge will be in form of a pregnant lady.
It was discovered that the lady, Ibidamipe, was expectant and she would give birth to the Messiah for the community but she lost her life to some tricks when she started feeling like she was being over pampered, placed under surveillance and her freedom is inhibited. This desire led to her untimely death and that of her foetus. The town was thrown into mourning because since she arrived- normalcy had been restored and they can foresee the return of their challenges which might be worse than the previously experienced one.
This movie was done in two languages- English and Yoruba languages. Interestingly, they were both done in an impeccable manner. The subtitling is very detailed; I would say that this is one of the recently produced Yoruba films that had tonal marks on the subtitling, which allowed Yoruba readers to read right!
Another aspect of the language is the use of metaphor, synonyms, parallelism, proverbs and anecdotes among other elements of language that all enriched the movie. In fact, many contemporary Yoruba speakers would get lost in the language as it is another way of learning the dying, if not death, aspect of our culture.
Another exciting part of the movie is the location and props. The location of the movie is such a rustic community where the buildings are made of clay bricks, the flora and fauna of the Yoruba community is visible in the movie. Asides, the props are archival props- many children that do not know the wired landline phones, the Yashica photo camera, the bowls, the furniture and other items would encounter it in the movie.
The music in the movie is in consonance with the message that it intends to pass across to the audience and the movie is also a renaissance of the various forms of spoken words of the Yoruba race ranging from Ijala, Orin Aro, Akigbe maru Oba poetry (theKing’s Chanter) and others. Also, we had the opportunity of being entertained by an ensemble of Iya Ilu drummers and Bata drummers. These are hallmarks of a flick that was well conceived and presented cultural movie.
On the whole, Akindele Alao’s flick is a representation of the way in which the gospel can be indigenized and pushed across to a young audience in a very enriching way that calls for deep reflections. As everyone seeks from freedom, even from COVID-19, are you emerging as a Champion or a Victim?
Enjoy the thriller-