In the hallowed halls of AFRIFF 2023, where stories echo through time and history unfolds on the silver screen, a number of films left an impression in my not-so-big head. One of these cinematic masterpieces was “The Rising Sun.”
Directed and produced by the visionary Bakia Thomas, this historical drama takes a deep dive into the ancient Igbo land, unravelling a tapestry of resilience, rebellion, and redemption set against the brutal canvas of the late 1700s.
Three Interesting Facts Illuminating “The Rising Sun”s
- Budgeting Brilliance: The size and effect of any film project are frequently determined by its financial foundation. With a 78-million-naira budget, “The Rising Sun” is a formidable film that demonstrates the dedication to providing an immersive experience rather than merely a picture. This financial commitment to quality shows an unshakable commitment to quality and promises fans a spectacular both visually and emotionally.
- A Director’s Personal Investment: “The Rising Sun” defies tradition in a field where financial support frequently determines creative freedom. The visionary behind this cinematic journey, Dr. Thomas Bakia, made the bold decision to finance the entire production on his own. This display of artistic independence denotes a break from the norm and gives the filmmaker the freedom to fully realize his vision.
- From Creation to Cinders: The destiny of “The Rising Sun” production set is maybe its most fascinating aspect. The production team painstakingly built the entire set from the ground up.
The twist is that, at the end of filming, the set was likewise ceremoniously reduced to ashes. This magnificent deed is not simply a symbolic act but also a build-up to a crucial burning scene at the film’s climax—a carefully constructed metaphor that perfectly captures the freedom concept of the film.
Plot Unveiled, Spoilers Concealed
The people of Arochukwu, in the heart of Igbo land, are the subject of “The Rising Sun.” The film narrates the tale of how the demand for palm oil exploration—then known as “Red Gold”—reached a fever pitch.
Based on actual events, the film follows the unwavering determination of a lady, Ama, who defies British oppression even in the face of death. The plot skilfully combines historical authenticity with the moving depiction of an unsung hero’s journey—all without giving anything away.
The film catapults one through a tumultuous journey of emotions, unveiling a gripping narrative scene after scene. Its unflinching portrayal of the harrowing realities—persecution, rape, and the savage maiming of trapped slaves, coupled with the brutal killing of those daring to escape—is nothing short of cinematic intensity.
However, amidst the darkness, a profound plot twist emerges. The film depicts the unyielding power of humanity, transcending the confines of race and colour. An unexpected cooperation – a testament to the resilience of the human spirit – adds a layer of depth to the storyline, leaving audiences in awe of the intricate dance between despair and hope.
One is left with a lasting impression as the film’s echoes persist and the credits roll. The movie’s central metaphor for the concepts of rebirth and emancipation is the burning scene at the end, which replicates the actual burning down of the production set. Creation and destruction dance in unison in this cinematic alchemy, promising an experience that goes beyond the bounds of traditional storytelling.
A Call to Witness
“The Rising Sun” beckons cinephiles and casual viewers alike to witness a cinematic spectacle that goes beyond entertainment. It is an immersive journey into the annals of history, a confrontation with untold truths, and an ode to the strength of the human spirit. The allure of legendary actors like Pete Edochie, Chiwetalu Agu, and the ensemble cast, combined with the director’s unparalleled investment and plot twists, creates an anticipation that lingers long after the festival curtains close.
In the inevitable release of “The Rising Sun” to cinemas and streaming platforms, be prepared to immerse yourself in a captivating narrative poignantly laced with plot twists. Dr. Thomas Bakia has not just crafted a film; he has forged an experience that demands to be felt, seen, and celebrated.
Brace yourself for a journey into uncharted territory, where the sun rises not just on the screen but within the hearts of the viewers.