People are calling this stunning action film Netflix’s “Nigerian John Wick“, and it’s easy to see why. It captivated hearts and minds worldwide, which stands as a testament that international film industries like Nollywood and Bollywood need to be given the attention they deserve. Without further ado, let’s take a look at The Black Book.
The Black Book tells the story of an ex-soldier who has traded his weapons for a life in the church and goes on a spree of vengeance. “After his son is framed for a kidnapping, a bereaved deacon takes justice into his own hands and fights a corrupt police gang to absolve him,” according to the synopsis provided by Netflix.
The Black Book doesn’t shy away from the corruption and police brutality of Nigeria’s past in its story, instead choosing to use it as an element for powerful storytelling, almost shocking its viewers with the fact that this is the truth that many citizens had lived.
The movie starts with the abduction of family members of the head of a Nigerian oil regulatory agency, aided by corrupt police officers who are under the thumb and the dime of a corrupt top politician. When they need a scapegoat for their crimes, the corrupt police frame and kill a young man who was a suspect in the case, covering their tracks…or so they think.
Someone messed up choosing the young man because he happens to be the only child of a former spec-ops operative who has given up his career for a life in the church. Still, when his boy is taken from him, the ex-officer-turned-paster, known as ‘Nigeria’s “most dangerous man”,’ lays down the cloth and takes revenge into his own hands.
Just as in John Wick, the main character hunts down each officer who was involved in the death of his son until he can rip out the cancer at its root, a root that happens to lead him to the man at the head of the whole plot, the army general who used to call the shots in his own missions.
While John Wick had a formula that definitely was successful, many thought that the film series only saw the success that it did because of Keanu Reeves’ involvement. While it’s true that we wouldn’t really be able to picture anyone else in the role, The Black Book proves that, when done right, the formula of John Wick can be replicated to be successful.
After being in Netflix’s global Top 10 for three weeks, The Black Book peaked in its second week before falling off the charts. Having been up there for three weeks in a row before falling from the charts, The Black Book garnered more than 20 million views in three weeks, a number that is shocking but seems on par when you realise that it had more than 5 million in only 48 hours after releasing on the 22nd of September.
Don’t be surprised to see more cinema masterpieces coming out of Nigeria. Having been dubbed “Nollywood” in the 1990s, Nigeria has the second largest film industry in the world after Inda, reported to produce an average (meaning it has been more before!) of 2000 movies each year.
Producers and directors are proud that their $1 million movie was financed in Nigeria and became a global success. Producer Editi Effiong told The Associated Press that as long as a movie is made for its audience, it will always meet success. That’s why it is so unique that a movie “made by Nigerians, funded by Nigerian money,” managed to go global.
While it might not be based on the true story of a recorded man who went on a revenge-driven spree, The Black Book may be fictional when it comes to the story of the character, and as Effiong said in his interview with Fortune, “It is a fictional narrative but this is what Nigeria was.”
Megan Oosthuizen is a talented writer hailing from East London, South Africa. With a passion for literature, video games, movies, and TV shows, Megan brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to her work as an entertainment journalist.
After earning Bachelor of Arts degrees in both English Literature and Psychology, Megan honed her writing skills as an academic writer. She has since turned her attention to the exciting world of entertainment news, where she is quickly establishing herself as a rising star.
Megan's deep love for pop culture and her keen eye for detail make her a valuable contributor to FortressofSolitude.co.za and SneakerFortress.com. Her articles are informed by her extensive knowledge of literature and her ability to analyze and interpret complex themes and narratives.
Whether she's breaking down the latest developments in the world of gaming, offering her thoughts on the hottest new releases in film and television, or delving into the rich history of pop culture, Megan's writing is always engaging and thought-provoking.