Eyimofe, meaning ‘This is My Desire’, is the perfect film to see during Black History month as we also celebrate Nigeria’s 60th anniversary of independence. The film is split into chapters, following the lives of two people on their individual journeys for better lives.
To start, I truly loved how this film painted a beautiful picture. Shot on 16mm film in an observational style, it felt like we were flies on the wall seeing people’s lives grow or crumble through the events they faced. The colours and shots were so beautiful, making each part of the film feel like an intricate oil painting, get giving us a fresh lens to discover the places where filming took place. I really did appreciate the overall look of the film, as well as the story, which is something I think will help people fall in love with the film, and not necessarily romanticise what happens, but rather how it looks.
Onto the story, we follow Mofe (played by Jude Akuwudike) and Rosa (Nigerian Newcomer Temi Ami-Williams) living lives that juxtapose each other through both their individual scenarios as well as their different genders. We firstly meet Mofe, who captures our hearts through his tear-jerking origin story. To see someone go from one thing to another quickly, can go wrong in writing, but I really like how this film showed the brokenness and fall of someone. To see a man fall apart, especially in a culture where men are seen as strong and not weak, really was difficult. Another major story point in money throughout the film, and to see money troubles on top of the already bad situation, I think this film could be translated to any culture, as I think anyone can begin to see their life in Mofe’s place, and worry how money may stop you from living for and loving the ones closest to you.
Money troubles were a big issue for the character Rosa too. I liked seeing the female perspective to this story, knowing that these girls wanted more from their lives, not just to marry and settle down. It inspired me seeing them want to chase something better, but also made me so sad to see how wanting more isn’t always appreciated in different cultures. Because of this, the film felt old, and I guess the 16mm film added to this. However, it is set in present day, showing how everyone of any age can relate to or begin to understand the circumstances that these people are going through.
I really liked each performance in this film. They felt real and truthful, really amplifying the story and the locations. I felt connected to the characters, wanting to help them or hold their hand through the difficult times.
Hailed as rising stars of the Nigerian film scene, and we can see why, the story is written by Chuko Esiri and co-directed by his twin brother Arie, who dive deeply into a moving and thought-provoking film, giving us an intimate glance into Mofe and Rosa’s lives and the richness of Nigerian cinema. It’s amazing to hear how the whole project was funded and made by Nigerian people, which really shows off how special this film is. Eyimofe is a film that will open your eyes to a new story, set in a beautiful place, that will leave you thinking about your own life and what you do with it.