B FOR BOY || 2013, Nigeria || Drama || Directed by – Chika Anadu / Written by – Chika Anadu / Produced by – Chika Anadu, Arie Esiri / Music by – Enis Rotthoff / Cinematography – Monika Lenczewska / Editing by – Simon Brasse / Production design – Anthony Tomety / Starring – Uche Nwadili, Ngozi Nwaneto, Nonso Odogwu / Running time: 118 mins.
B for Boy tells the story of a 40-year-old Nigerian woman, Amaka, dangerously caught between the old and new societies of her country. Having opted to become a career woman, with the support and blessing of her husband, she is pregnant for the first and, most likely, last time in her life. What should be a happy and exciting time in her life actually turns into a nightmare. Despite her husband’s apparent modern mentality, in fact, she faces overwhelming pressures from the influence of her husband’s mother’s retrograde religious beliefs: the baby must be a boy.
Chika Anadu’s film represents a remarkable side of the Nigerian film industry, Nollywood – one that is able to represent Nigerian themes and issues to an international audience. In order to achieve a powerfully truthful presentation, she treasures realism but is simultaneously unafraid to explore darker aspects of Nigerian society. At the heart of it all is the examination of the role of the woman in modern Nigerian society, still subjected to traditionalist and misogynist viewpoints.
B for Boy is impressive, despite its occasional imperfections, which expose above all the fact that it is an independent film. Occasional reliance on exposition in the dialogue also reveal a slight immaturity. Nevertheless, the film is a powerfully gripping melodrama that allows a viewer to really understand the situation with its intense but unhurried pace. – 4/5