Directed by: Moses Inwang
Written by: Jeffery Musa David
Released on: 8th December, 2023.
Language: Ijaw, Pidgin, and English
Stream Site: Netflix
Inside Nollywood Rating: 4.5
Nollywood films this year have served optimally in storytelling and exceptional acting and presentation. Going down memory lane, we find that great Nollywood films came to our screens this year and Blood vessel recently got added to the list.
A roller coaster of emotions and tirades of mixed feelings is one way we could easily begin to describe blood vessels and the feelings the stars, scriptwriter and directors bring to life.
Produced by Charles Okpaleke and play network studios, this cinematic story beautifully directed by Moses Inwang, is inspired by real life events that played out in Nembe, a community in Bayelsa state, south Nigeria.
The story begins with a voice in the background telling us of the peaceful and lovely Nembe community, they fish, eat, work and repeat. Peacefully existing till a horrible disaster hit the community, their fishes died and the water became unsafe for the community. This drama unfolds in the Niger Delta regions while throwing lights on the effects of oil spillage on the water and society, it tells the fate of six People Abbey, Boma, Degbe, Olotu, Tekena, and Oyinbraekem brought together by faith and became intertwined in a military chase.
Six people brought together by fate became stowaways in a mysterious vessel. Mr P, their patron was taken off the ship due to health issues, they are then thrown into the gruesome journey of pain, survival, love and betrayal.
What was a chance of getting a better life, became a harrowing struggle for survival exploring the path of family, friendships, love and vulnerability. Aside from portraying just the protagonists illegal immigration activities, it explores the African traditional beliefs while showing the illegal immigration experience of young Nigerian and those from third world countries alike beautify weaving in love, brotherhood, friendship and family.
The six protagonists had embarked on different journeys for survival. Tekena and Olotu seek greener pastures in the land beyond the waters, Boma and Degbe were hiding away from the military after a protest gone wrong, and the lovers, Abbey and Oyinbraekemi were trying to escape her strict father and destiny.
The film begins with Abbey telling the story of the once peaceful community which has now become chaotic, thanks to the youth’s protests against Oil spillage destroying the community. This resulted in a military clash that threw the community in pandemonium.
Amidst these, Abbey, was intertwined in a tough situation with his lover, Oyinbraekemi, who is locked in her father’s house and being threatened to be sent to warri to abort her pregnancy. With determination to make it through this one, the lovers decide to elope. This escape after a chase by the military brought them together and intertwines their fate with that of Tekena and Olotun who was passing by the community and Boma and Degbe, who played a critical role in the protest and death of a military personnel.
In a bid to escape a military chase, Tekena somehow got encircled by a snake believed to be Adumu, the water goddess. Onyin tried to educate them about the water God, but Degbe and Boma discarded her advice and went ahead to make a Barbecue of the snake and had it for dinner leaving Onyin scared for them about the potential consequences.
While seeking escape, they all boarded a ship headed for Brazil thanks to Mr Perekeme. Hidden away in a compartment at the bottom of the ship with strict instructions, the journey became a turbulent one when Mr P was taken off the ship thanks to health failures automatically leaving the group at the mercy of the vessel owners, Merciless Igor and his friends.
Faced with hunger, Illness, and impatience, they sadly found themselves entangled in a desperate struggle for survival as they one step at a time navigated the challenges that came in the pursuit for a better life.
The film featured creatives who understood the role expected of them and served accordingly. They not only acted, they embodied the role while portraying the culture and language of the Nembe people seamlessly. Seeing emerging cast who understood their assignment dominating the screen makes this mind-blowing.
The film uses Language as a basic means of communication and from thence, built a form of intimate relationship in the setting. It also takes on the character’s personal life going in-depth and leaving as little stone as possible unturned. For instance, it explained that Abbey was called “Omeni” by Degbe because his mother was Igbo. Or how it explained Onyin’s fluency in Igbo and Ijaw was linked to her Igbo grandma giving us more about these characters than a glance.
The character perfectly embodying their role one after the other built this intricate connection between us which is admirable. With veterans like Ebere Onyiuke, Bimbo Manuel, and Francis Duru playing minor roles, the major feature in the movie were mainly emerging Starr Casting in this case was perfectly selected as they not only read the script, they meticulously presented it to us like it was a world of their own.
The cinematography is at standards with every little scene taken into consideration and given optimal attention. The cinematography, sound and visual effects that were created through the film was nothing short of perfection. The outstanding features of the film that tugged relentlessly at my emotions sparking a sea of mixed emotions. The shots, and every scene in the movie aimed to obviously serve or portray emotions and nothing less.
Blood Vessel is a roller coaster of emotions, it takes you through a rough ride of emotions with an interesting and captivating storyline. The film began in an unsettling and scary way that sparked questions and built suspense making it more interesting.
Moses Inwang’s Directorial prowess merged with a persuasive script and outstanding actors produced optimal finesse while giving us an unusual feel. A roller coaster of emotions and tirades of mixed feelings is one way we can easily begin to describe blood vessels and the feelings the stars, scriptwriter and directors bring to life in this film
Produced by play network studios, this cinematic thriller beautifully directed by Moses Inwang, is inspired by real life events and was set in Nembe, a community in Bayelsa state, south Nigeria. The setting gave the relatable and home feel bringing to life the feel of everyday. Going beyond one theme and exploring friendships, betrayal, family, vulnerability amongst others, the film goes deeper than surface level.
Linking smoothly the entire movie to divination and African spirituality is a plus, and a mystery as well. Could it be that they didn’t see to the end of the trip and it all ended in the water because they ate that snake or did Onyin only fulfilled her destiny which was the repercussions of being with a man? These minute scenes gave a sneak peak into African traditional beliefs which is commendable.
Leaving many parts unsaid, the film left us in suspense about the end results. The knowledge of Onyin’s pregnancy that was left unsaid as they sailed left us pondering what will become of it, keeping us completely in the dark as if it never existed.
The movie is 4/5. It stands out as an enthralling experience, it takes us through their experience while sparking emotions each step of the way.
A well written film set to make us feel and keep us expectant until the last minute of this screen experience.
By Miracle Marcus