Movies Ninah's Dowery2Whew! Watching Ninah’s Dowery (2012), a movie from a small Camaroon film crew, directed by the sure-handed Victor Viyuoh I was carried into the dissimilar–too similar world of men, women, family, money, love, abuse and the struggle to be one’s own person. — not in LA or New York or a Carolina trailer park but in rural Africa.

Mbufung Seikeh plays Ninah wonderfully.  Her strong, non-traditional movie face works wonderful gestures of happiness, hope, apprehension, suffering and sassiness. Anurin Nwunembom is Memfi, her none too good husband who, alarmed when Ninah does not return from a visit to her dying father, sets out to ensure the bride-price he paid for her will be returned.  With him are a couple of his posse, aiding and abetting.  When it turns out that his abuse has resulted in Ninah stepping out with another, the search is on.

Scenes of her running and hiding in he jungle are the real stuff, as is a punishment scene previously associated in movies with white slave masters, or modern “information extraction.”  She is no passive victim, however, no matter the subordinated position of women in the culture.

Definitely a film to look for in the almost Africa free movie universe.  It’s available at Amazon Streaming as I post, but look around.  In fact, there was a kick-starter campaign to help make the film.

Victor Viyuoh gave an eye opening interview about overcoming the impossible to make a film in Africa

… there was a story my cousin had told me a couple of years earlier that had not only stuck with me but I had tried to document it on one my trips to Cameroon in search of investors.  I decided to write a narrative inspired by her experience, but I wanted to focus on just the day that her estranged husband and his posse came for her and forced her to go back with them. …  believe it or not, the narrative is tame compared to Evelyn’s actual ordeal.

And here, a Q&A with Film Independent.

Reviews at IFFR. Shadow and Act.Movies Ninah's Dowery