Netflix recently decided to expand operations in South Korea and Africa to reach a wider audience globally. The efforts seem to be paying off because a recent Nigerian film has already landed in the fourth spot on the global top ten list (English).
Nigerian cinema, often referred to as Nollywood—styled after Hollywood, has emerged as a powerhouse in recent years. One of the latest gems to make waves internationally is the 2023 Nigerian crime thriller The Black Book.
Directed and produced by Editi Effiong, this gripping film has taken the Netflix charts by storm this week. Starring Richard Mofe-Damijo, Sam Dede, Shaffy Bello, Femi Branch, Alex Usifo, Ade Laoye, and Ireti Doyle, The Black Book is a riveting tale of revenge, corruption, and redemption.
Released on Netflix on September 22nd, 2023, The Black Book immediately grabbed the attention of viewers worldwide. Drawing comparisons to iconic characters like John Wick, Mofe-Damijo’s portrayal of Paul Edima is winning praise.
The film’s synopsis sets the stage for a thrilling story, which begins with the brutal kidnapping and murder. The Black Book revolves around Edima, a former hitman who has left the criminal underworld behind to serve as a deacon. However, when his son, Damilola, becomes mired in a criminal conspiracy, Paul sets out to seek vengeance and absolve his son’s reputation.
Paul Edima’s transformation from a reformed hitman to a relentless avenger is at the heart of the film’s narrative. As he seeks justice for his son, Paul confronts his former boss, General Issa, portrayed by Alex Usifo. Their climactic battle for retribution and the recovery of the mysterious black book adds layers of intensity to the story.
African cinema is often drowned out by the abundance of Hollywood releases, yet the industry remains unquestionably strong. Some of the greatest African movies of all time include Mahamet-Saleh Haroun’s Abouna, Djibril Diop Mambéty’s Touki Bouki and Rungano Nyoni’s I Am Not a Witch. The latter is currently streaming on Netflix, with the movie telling the story of a remote Zambian community where a young girl is denounced as a witch and is exploited by a local community. The film earned a Cannes nomination for ‘Golden Camera’ and also won a BAFTA for ‘Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer’.
The Black Book has garnered 11.6 million hours viewed with a total of 5.6 million individual views on its debut week and is currently streaming on Netflix.