Nollywood Debuts ‘The Fisherman’s Dairy’

Movie Review: ‘The Fisherman’s Dairy’ Is The Emotional Voice Needed To Stop Child Marriage In Africa.

The Fisherman’s Diary is a 2020 Cameroonian drama film directed by Enah Johnscot. This movie stands out for its breathtaking storyline and the height of verisimilitude it portrays. Starring known fantastic Cameronian actors, it also features Nollywood A-list star, Ramsey koko tv ngThis movie centers its theme on girl-child education, the realities of what is happening to the girl-child with people who stand against education.

The fisherman’s Diary brings to light the need for child marriage and girl-child education and the disadvantage of child marriage.

It is a painful fact that the ignorant act of child marriage is still practiced in some parts of Africa and even Nigeria. There is the need for such practices to stop and this film poses as a tool advocating for such to stop.

The film centers around a young girl named Ekah (Faith Fidel), born in a town where education is looked down upon and the people focus solely on fishing as their means of survival.

Ekah has the burning desire to go to school but because of the way her mother who went to school treated her father, her father stands against her going to school. In a bid to prevent her from gaining education, Her father, Solomon (Kang Quintus) marries her off to Mallam Sule. We get to see her struggles and triumph at the end of the day.

The back story of the movie draws its inspiration from the quote, One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world  words of Malala Yousafzai, one of the most inspirational teenagers in our world today.

She was shot by the Taliban when she was 14 because of her vocal efforts in support of education and girls’ rights in Pakistan, a country 7,000 kilometers away from Cameroon.

Malala had to escape to Europe for treatment, ultimately finding an abode in the United Kingdom to continue her life. How does such a story get translated into a movie in West Africa, Cameroon to be specific?

Fortunately, Malala’s life didn’t have to be reenacted to achieve this on-screen translation since The Fisherman’s Diary is based on its own locality’s true events.

This movie was set in Menchum is a fishing community where girls’ education is likewise not encouraged, of course, aided by the apathetical women who are satisfied with their situation and have also influenced younger girls into accepting this norm.

This was portrayed in the character of the young women who sell fish in the market and also Ekah’s friend, Andong.In this movie, they were able to portray life as realistically as possible and that is a mighty plus for the makers of this movie.
The setting was apt and we have to give it to the cinematographer. The pictorial quality was divine, clear, and the seamless flow of scenes from one to the other was commendable. It is only a matter of years, the Camerounian entertainment industry will soon get there if at this stage they can provide something as good as this.

The Fisherman’s Diary is very symbolic as it uses Mallam Sule to represent the sect of people who still practice the ignorant act of child marriage, in the person of the Northern. The usual sickness that happens time and time again, VVF (Vesicovaginal fistula) which is when little girls exposed to sexual intercourse with matured men tend to release urine without control from the vagina. They can no longer control when urine comes out.
This movie brings the emotional, psychological, physical trauma, and more that these young girls go through.

Scenes where Ekah was shown to be peeing on herself, where she contemplated hanging herself, and many more.

It is funny how we as humans let emotional pain becloud our judgment as this was the case of her father.

This film doesn’t just show the ills of this act, but the parental wrongs done by parents who give their children out at a young in marriage.

The storyline once again will forever remain evergreen, as this is a living matter that has been portrayed in scenes and dialogue.

A major plus for this film is the musicality, come on they killed it, hands down. The scenes were carried in the song sung at various parts. The emotions that needed to be generated as a result of certain acts was brought to life by the vehicle of the music employed. It’s a big check here.

 Another plus for this movie is in terms of the costume, which were a very good and apt representation of the social status of the people. The special effect was fantastic especially the marks on Ekah’s back, come on, well done!.

But the make-up could have been better as in the case of Ramsey Nuoah, just his face looked old, the back of his neck was saying a different story, (lol).

Now coming to the Language of the movie which was Cameronian pidgin English. There was the presence of translation which made it super easy for comprehension and considering the fact that we are Nigerians, the pidgin English was quite relatable.

Characterization was apt to the hilt, in fact, the character of Ekah deserves an award. The only character that wanted to shake the boat was Ramsey Nuoah’s wife whose speaking didn’t seem realistic and that draws from the editing of the movie, in terms of the technicalities. Asides that come on, thumps up!

There are minor conflicts in the movie that set it up to be a captivating experience, but it falls short at establishing a solid past for viewers to draw emotions from and a future that feels like it was just dumped there in the cutting room as they fearfully realized that the movie might be entering the 3-hour mark.

The ending of the movie was quite abrupt as there was the absence of the purgation of emotions. You don’t raise people’s emotion to that level only to leave it there, that’s called hanging.

Final Thoughts
The Fisherman’s Dairy possesses a very strong storyline which was not just in lines and words but portrayed to a very good extent in scenes and dialogue. Aside from little faults here and there. It is a movie that deserves an Oscar for its evergreen and deep theme.

Such an important theme is very fragile and if not portrayed well, it can be detrimental to the overall intended message. But this movie killed it. Thumbs up, mehn. See trailer below;


Credit: Jane Aimuengheuwa

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