July 7, 2009
Christianity, Witchcraft, and the Movies
Mix 'em all up, and you've got the fast-growing Nigerian film industry
The film's fascinating trailer (at the end of this post) depicts a director laying hands on a camera and praying over it "in the name of Jesus Christ." One interviewee states that "the films have been taken over by born-again Christianity. . . . Nollywood has become the voice of Africa." Another says, "In a country like this, if you don't have Jesus, you can't survive."
Several media outlets have reviewed the film recently. The Times-Picayune notes that the low-budget films are "built around melodrama and cheeseball special effects." The Epoch Times writes that Nigeria "is a country where many share both an evangelical Christian faith and a lingering fear of witchcraft. If you think such an environment could produce fascinating cinema, you would be correct." And The New York Times writes, "The documentary concludes with a provocative, if shallow, examination of the impact of evangelical Christianity on Nigerian movies," and adds, "for all its limitations, â€œNollywood Babylonâ€ serves as an intriguing primer."
Watch the trailer here: