Black November

"Good"

Black November Review


Nigerian filmmaker Jeta Amata clearly feels passionate about the problems in his country, but despite the presence of Hollywood stars the movie is made in a style that will feel amateurish to Western audiences. Obvious screenwriting is the main problem, ramping up melodrama when political intensity is needed. Essentially, a more organic approach to storytelling, with attention to the characters instead of the themes, would have made this a much more powerful thriller.

After studying in America, 21-year-old Ebiere (Mbong Amata) returns home to her Niger Delta community just in time to witness a horrific oil-company accident in which most of her family perishes. As the most educated person in her village, she rises to a position of leadership among the rebels fighting for fairer treatment from petrol executive Tom (Mickey Rourke) and the corrupt military, which responds with relentless violence, betraying and brutalising the villagers. As she falls for rebel commander Dede (Hakeem Kae-Kazim), Ebiere becomes even more important. And things take a further turn when she's charged with murder after a protest turns fatal. Meanwhile in Los Angeles, desperate Nigerians (including Wyclef Jean and Akon) take Tom hostage along with a local reporter (Kim Basinger) to demand justice for Ebiere's plight.

Writer-director Amata made this film three years ago, then reworked it to add the L.A. sequences in an effort to make Nigeria's struggle feel more current in the context of global activism. This works to an extent, as it stirs the hot topic of terrorism into the mix. But the big action set pieces are directed and edited in a choppy way that feels undercooked. The story of desperate political activism amid heavy-handed corruption is compelling, but it's watered down by some rather soapy interpersonal plot points. Still, the film remains involving, a powerful tale of little guys standing up to forces much bigger than themselves simply in the name of what's right.

In the lead role, Mbong Amata (the filmmaker's wife) delivers an engaging performance that helps the audience understand the struggle in Ebiere's own mind, as she longs to live a normal life but feels like she can't remain quiet in the face of such rampant injustice. Kae-Kazim is charismatic as the rebel leader Dede, although his romance with Ebiere feels corny and underdeveloped. Meanwhile, the Hollywood heavyweights lend their clout to the screen, although aside from Rourke they're little more than extended cameos, which is a shame for the usually superb Anne Heche and Vivika A. Fox. Yes, it'll take a much better film than this to raise interest in the situation in Nigeria. For starters, how many Westerners know that Nigeria has a larger population than Russia?



Black November

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 95 mins

In Theaters: Friday 7th December 2012

Budget: $12.5M

Distributed by: Entertainment One Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 6.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Jeta Amata

Producer: Jeta Amata, Wilson Ebiye, Ori Ayonmike, Dede Mabiaku, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Adebayo Sorungbe

Starring: as Timi, Ibrahim Aba-Gana as Judge, as Opuwei, Christina Alexandria as Hostage, Fred Amata as Gideon White, Mbong Amata as Ebiere Perema, Zack Amata as Chief Kuku, Asenshion Amun as Hostage, Awuese Awunde as Eloho, Robert Ballentine as Tom, as Kristy, Ivar Brogger as Bellamy, Jay M. Brooks as Soldier (as Jay Brooks), Jenifer Brougham as Jenifer Brougham, Nathin Butler as Jackson, as Tom Hudson, as Barbara, Vivica A. Fox as Angela, as Timi Gabriel, as Kate Summers

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.