Benin video-films as archival sources of history
Omoera, Osakue S.
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This article dialectically considers how Benn video-films serve as archival sources of history in Nigeria. It uses historical, sociological and formalistic methods to interpret and interrogate some Benin video-films with a view to highlight how they serve as potent repositories of cultural history. Nigerian movies are increasingly being shot directly via digital cameras. This historically brought about Nollywood, which is now booming. McCall claims that Nollywood has become a primary catalyst in an emergent continent-wide popular discourse about what it means to be African. Ekwuazi has identified three schools of thought of Nollywood, namely Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba films. Omoera added the fourth, which is the Benin video-film. Today, the Nigerian film culture could be said to be the most variegated in the world with new frontiers in Urhobo, Ebira, Ibibio,Ijaw, Esan, among others. Having argued that films, particularly Nollywood films, are made with ethno-nation character in mind, this article uses some historical Benin films to underpin its argument and highlight the cultural capital as well as economic possibilities of paying close attention to indigenous Nigeria’s history and cultural heritage through films in order to promote cultural identity and help to salvage some of the dying minority cultures and indigenous languages.