Want to watch something refreshing and compelling away from the usual Hollywood offerings? The most recent Nollywood film available on Netflix is “The Black Book,” and we have just a recommendation for you. This thrilling Nigerian movie, at least, tries to keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time with an ensemble cast that may not be known outside Africa.
In his first feature film as a director, Editi Effiong explores a father’s fight for justice after his son is falsely convicted of a crime that he never committed, and eventually murdered by a gang of crooked cops. He then goes on to expose the crooked elements of the legal system in a dangerous pursuit that eventually asks too much from him.
The cast is led by Richard Mofe-Damijo, who gives an eerie performance as Paul Edima, the main character. His outstanding performance as a heartbroken father riven by sorrow and resoluteness sets the tone for the film’s grim and gritty narrative. However, a deeper exploration of supporting characters could have enriched the narrative further.
The plot develops into a narrative of power struggles and manipulation within the Nigeria Energy & Oil Company, illustrating how those in positions of authority may fundamentally change the lives of common people. As tensions rise, Paul’s son becomes an unwitting pawn in a dangerous game.
The unexpected twists and turns in the story create a tangled web of past relationships and betrayals. A key aspect that sheds light on a murky history that won’t go away is Edima’s possession of a strange black book.
“The Black Book” offers technically excellent filmmaking, but because it swings between character study and allegory, viewers long for a more clear-cut narrative arc. The movie has a lot of potential for dramatic scenes, but it falls just short of having the full emotional impact it may have.
With Richard Mofe-Damijo giving a standout performance, “The Black Book” promises to take viewers on an exciting journey through themes of family, retribution, and forgiveness. Don’t miss this compelling addition to Netflix’s growing selection of foreign films.