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Directed by Editi Effiong, ‘The Black Book’ unfolds the tale of Paul Edima, a former military and drug cartel hitman in Nigeria, celebrated for his record of assassinations, coups, abductions, and drug operations. After living a quiet life for three decades, Edima is compelled to seek justice when his only son falls victim to a corrupt police gang. Director Editi Effiong comments on this historic achievement, saying,
This is nothing short of a historic achievement for an independent African film. The film has been exceptionally well received worldwide and has exceeded our expectations. It carries profound cultural significance, shedding light on the struggles of the Nigerian people over the years. I take immense pride in ‘The Black Book’ bringing this narrative to life.In a matter of weeks, ‘The Black Book’ captivated over 20 million viewers and secured a spot on Netflix’s top 10 list in 69 countries for three consecutive weeks. Among the plethora of African films on the platform, it stands out as a trailblazer for the African film industry.
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Effiong emphasizes that:
The Black Book’s success demonstrates that African stories, created on the continent by Africans, can shine on the global stage. Great storytelling transcends borders, and while the film’s inspiration is rooted in Nigerian experiences, its themes resonate worldwide, particularly in South America and Southeast Asia, with South Korea as a notable example where the film claimed the #1 spot according to Netflix official data.“The Black Book” boasts an ensemble cast of Africa’s most renowned actors, including Richard Mofe-Damijo, Alex Usifo, Sam Dede, Denola Grey, Shaffy Bello, and Ireti Doyle. The film offers a fictional narrative that explores the complex history of a West African country, addressing military dictatorship, drug trafficking, and politics through the journey of a retired hitman seeking justice. The film’s production brought together professionals from six countries, including the USA, UK, Guadeloupe, South Africa, and Nigeria. It utilized state-of-the-art audio-visual technology at a scale never before seen in Nigeria. The pre-production phase began in 2020, involving intense training for the lead actors in martial arts and weaponry. Filming spanned four months across various Nigerian locations, including the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Lagos’ Apapa Port, and the Old Railway Compound, Kaduna. The team constructed elaborate sets and sound stages, previously uncommon in Nigerian cinema, to achieve extraordinary scenes.
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About Anakle FilmsAnakle Films, based in Lagos, Nigeria, is dedicated to telling the next generation of African stories that inspire the continent to realize its full potential. Their work includes short films, TV/Online commercials, and documentaries. Anakle Films also invests in infrastructure to enhance local content distribution in West Africa. Their most recent production, ‘The Black Book,’ released in September 2023, stands as the most successful African film ever on the Netflix platform. Featured Image Source: Premium Times NG
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