4.14.2012

Nollywood does it again...and Canary

Sometimes readers send interesting stuff to the BN, and sometimes I have the time to look through what they send.

For example this scene from a Nigerian movie sent by Erica;


As someone who is familiar with Nigerian society and Nollywood, I instinctively knew this was nothing to be excited about. By the time the 52 seconds had passed I already knew what the movie was about. I've written about this before, Nollywood would never get tired of portraying Nigerian women as money-hungry, gold-digging bitches who only fuck and marry "white" men because of their presumed wealth. The only reason this Chinese man was included in this movie is most likely because they couldn't find a white European or American dude who was willing to appear in a Nigerian movie. Eh, if I sound bitter or angry, it's mostly because I figured I'd watch the movie this clip came from before writing about it. Part of me wants to cry for the hour or so I'll never get back from sitting down and watching Fazebook Babes, a film about women who steal money from rich "white" men using Facebook and mobile phones. "White" because, a lot of Nigerians will refer to anyone who doesn't have black or brown skin as white even though the person may be Chinese.



(On the other hand thanks to this clip I now have an idea for an article I want to write for This is Africa, I'll leave a link to that article here because it's related to Chinese men in African media.)

In conclusion, now I think it is safe to say that the only time we'll ever see Nollywood positively depict any Blasian relationship with a Black Nigerian woman would be if someone influential working behind the scenes is in a Blasian relationship. Either that or it'll happen the day I flip a desk and decide to write my own script for Nollywood. If not, it will always be about Nigerian women marrying 5 "white" men and stealing all their money.

~

(You may want to skip this part if you don't want any spoilers from Hunter × Hunter)


The above image is from the new Hunter × Hunter anime series, it was floating around Tumblr a while ago and it came up my radar so I decided to watch Hunter × Hunter to know more about this character. After 24 episodes, it was revealed that her name is Canary and she is an apprentice butler...then she got shot in the head.

Because sitting through yet another horribly sexist and racist Nollywood production (i.e. Fazebook Babes) had left a bitter taste in my mouth, I was more angry than usual at the idea of them killing Canary in the same episode she was introduced in (I started watching Hunter × Hunter almost immediately after sitting through Fazebook Babes). Luckily for my nerves, Canary was not killed (and it looks like my OTP for her may be canon but they are just friends seeing how young they are).

In other news, going through Hunter × Hunter's wiki page, I came across this image of Canary from the earlier anime that was aired in 1999.


Considering how whitewashing is a thing in anime, it's good to see that the Canary in the 2011 series has a darker tone than her earlier representation. Also her hair looks better, though I prefer the red colour.

This has been a post.

16 comments:

  1. I have the original series of Hunter x Hunter on DVD, and I've yet to actual finish the box set, but I have heard of Canary's character before and what happened to her due to me spoiling myself by reading the episode summary list on wiki years ago. However, I have yet to watch the remake of Hunter x Hunter, but I am so-so about watching it seeing how I'm not a huge fan of Hunter x Hunter like I am with other series.

    Also, what are your takes on the characters on Naruto, such as Killer Bee, Omoi, Karui and so on, who are all have darker skin in resemblance to black people. In fact, the majority of the characters from the Kumogakure village on Naruto are dark skin.

    Anyways, good post. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad I'm not a fan of Hunter x Hunter before watching the 2011 remake. I'm also pleased that I did not have any idea that it was a remake at all, I just watched it for Canary. When Canary is out of the scene, I'm not sure I would be watching Hunter x Hunter.

      I don't watch Naruto. But most times, it's good to see dark skinned characters in anime.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, it's something about Hunter x Hunter that just didn't grasp my attention. My dad loves it though and wants to watch the remake, lol. I've only watched maybe 17 episodes of the original from my 26 episode box set.

      I actually stopped watching Naruto in 2006, but I do read the manga to keep up to date with everything. I agree it is good to see character like that in anime, I know of a few other anime as well. To be honest, I was surprised to see dark skinned characters on Naruto. Killer Bee from Naruto was inspired from one of the members of um, the Wu-Tang Clan from what Kishimoto, the creator of Naruto, has said before in an interview along with Muhammad Ali.

      Delete
    3. Hunter x Hunter is just okay, it has some interesting characters but it wouldn't make my top 5 or top 10 anime list.

      It's interesting that some characters in Naruto were inspired by the people you mentioned. Fascinating.

      Delete
  2. My parents are Nigerian. The last time I watched a Nollywood film from start to finish, was nearly 15 years ago. The other day someone tried to make conversation with me by asking me to recommend a good Nollywood film to watch. I was flummoxed. There are some good aspects of Nigerian society, but the level & depth of disrespect and abuse of women - I left all that years ago. Why would I subject myself to watching films revelling in portraying women as stupid / manipulative, poor / gold-digging, putting up with all sorts of shit from men, desperately clinging onto useless men, and dying from abortions?
    If I need to be entertained, I can turn to my long wishlist of Korean, Taiwanese, Japanese, and Chinese movies and tv series. As for waiting for a Nollywood film to depict a successful Blasian relationship - don't hold your breath. They can't even depict a successful black - black relationship!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I personally do not remember the last time I watched a Nollywood film from start to finish. I can admit that while watching Fazebook Babes I was playing a game on my mum's iPad. When it comes to Yoruba movies though, I watch from start to finish because they are generally interesting.

      I always tell people not to watch Nollywood, at least not now, I can recommend good Yoruba movies though. I'm constantly expressing my frustration with Nollywood over at my personal blog.

      If I need to be entertained, I can turn to my long wishlist of Korean, Taiwanese, Japanese, and Chinese movies and tv series.

      I watch movies and TV series from all the countries listed above, however I find their depiction of women problematic as well. While it may seem that Nollywood tends to take over the top depictions of women, K-dramas in particular don't treat women kindly either. K-dramas come first to mind because I've been watching a lot of series lately and they are filled with rape culture references what with all the arm yanking and dragging, the occasional forced kissing. That shit is disturbing but goes to show that every country has its own issues with the way women are depicted in their media.

      Luckily most of the Chinese movies and TV shows I watch are wuxia, so women practising martial arts yay!, nevertheless there are still problematic depictions of women in wuxia, especially with the way older women are depicted. The most recent Japanese TV show I watched fell into the scheming gold-digging bitch trap but it was interesting because the way this character was depicted made it seem like the drama was criticising Japanese society more than her.

      As for waiting for a Nollywood film to depict a successful Blasian relationship - don't hold your breath. They can't even depict a successful black - black relationship!

      I would challenge you on this. If you didn't know, Nollywood is currently going through a huge change, though some have questioned whether this change will mean better depictions of female characters, I wouldn't cancel out that possibility. There are new films coming out that do seem to depict successful Black-Black relationships, this one for example. Another great movie that is part of the "new wave of Nollywood" is Ije which I watched and loved not only for it's positive depiction of female relationships (between the sisters) but also for its successful Black-Black relationship!

      And I see successful relationships a lot in Yoruba movies, even though they usually don't take the centre stage. To me it looks like most of Nollywood seems to focus on Nigerian social ills through the bodies of women, I find this problematic because rather than condemn these ills or proffer solutions, they seem to condone them. The good Yoruba movies I watch on the other hand tend to focus on cultural heritage and history, they also offer relevant criticism.

      Delete
  3. That hairstyle is so...unfortunate....either way, I am interested to check this series out now. Any anime that depicts POC deserves a good once-over. As for Nollywood, my old roommate is Nigerian and watched these films incessantly. I was always hesitant to join her precisely for the reasons you mentioned. It's so sad. After watching so many Bollywood movies, I was looking for good African entertainment to explore, but I seem to only keep finding Nigerian flicks. SURELY there must be more out there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the hairstyle!

      After watching so many Bollywood movies, I was looking for good African entertainment to explore, but I seem to only keep finding Nigerian flicks. SURELY there must be more out there!

      Lol, if you're only finding Nigerian flicks then you aren't doing a good enough job at searching. Nollywood is popular in terms of modern African cinema so I partly don't blame you for only finding Nigerian flicks. I'm a proud consumer of African media and I've enjoyed films from Senegal, Mali, Ghana, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and South Africa. I particular enjoy "old school" films from the 50s and 60s to the 90s. After watching all of Ousmane Sembene's works, you can check out the movies tag over at my blog where I've reviewed African films I liked. Consider subscribing to blogs that talk about African cinema, Africa is a Country is currently reviewing movies from the 19th New York African Film Festival. You should also considering signing up to the African Film Library which catalogues movies by legendary African directors.

      As for Nigerian movies, if you want to enjoy the good stuff you just need to stick to a few directors. The two directors I've come to trust are Kunle Afolayan and Tunde Kelani (he's legendary). You can watch Kunle Afolayan's acclaimed movie The Figurine on HiBuzz.

      There are so many resources for African movies online, seek and you'll find :D

      Delete
  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Name, please. Sorry, but I'm getting tired of folks' ignoring the specific instruction to NOT post as "Anonymous".

      Delete
    2. Ankh, I think it'd be better/less frustrating if we removed the "anonymous" feature from the blog's setting. This way people wouldn't be able to make the mistake.

      Delete
    3. @ eccentric

      It would then only allow registered users to post, which is quite a restriction.

      Delete
  5. Thanks for going into detail about the context of the video, eccentricyoruba. I'm not a Nollywood watcher (I've watched many one or two) so I would have never known.

    I like Canary's hair!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I wonder what kind of African films some of you guys are watching cause many that I have seen have depicted African/Black love in an interesting light without all the stereotyping. Granted I have seen some crazyness but its usually the movies that take on an Americanized feel to it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the issue here is with Nigerian films, not "African films". There are different sets of stereotypes in play depending on the country tbqh. I don't get the same "anti-woman" vibes when I watch films from other African countries but then again this could just be due to my familiarity with Nigerian society.

      Granted I have seen some crazyness but its usually the movies that take on an Americanized feel to it.

      This is true though.

      Delete
  7. I was introduced to the wonderful world of Nollywood through a girlfriend of mine from Gabon.Every time she comes by to visit she brings this little shopping bag filled with them (She loves them!) I sat through this little mini-marathon and the gold-digging theme was pretty prominent in many of them. But I have faith that things will change.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are no longer accepted.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.