Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever
Soul of a Maiden ~ 2008
Story – Obi Madubuogwu, Bruce Iyke Okafor
Screenplay – Tai Emeka Obasi, Tchidi Chikere
Director – Tchidi Chikere
Ini Edo – Olamma
Mercy Johnson – Nuria
Mike Ezuruonye – Prince Obieze
Laz Ekwueme – Igwe
Uche Ebere – Oyinne
Obi Madubuogwu – Emenike
Chigozie Okoli – Agaba
Mary Stella Okolie – Nin
Jenifer Danladi – Amaka
Ndidi Okafor – Ijeoma
Michael J Egene – Arinze
Tony Alor – Agu
David Ihesie – Ichie Igube
Alfred Nwaze – Ichie Okoro
Ikechukwu Jideofor – Igwe Amaegede
Osu Caste System
Acculturation Vs Assimilation
My Rating: 88%
Olamma is an outcast in Afan Asa village. She is taunted and marginalised and does not know why until she approaches her mother to find out the full story. It is then that she is told of the history surrounded her ancestry and in turn present situation. She is descended from a woman who was sacrificed to the oracle for a cow. She was a virgin on sacrifice and in life was never married. She did however, have many children, as a result of men besieging her at night. Such was the fate for an osu and for future generations. Olamma is horrified and is determined to break the cycle vowing to never let a man see her naked body much to her mother’s fear that such a vow will only invite the wrath of the Gods. Things look to change when a chance encounter brings her close to Obieze the Prince, heir to the throne of the kingdom, however when the king finds out about his son’s intention to marry Olamma he sets out to prevent such a union and will go to any length to do so.
I loved this movie! It was a very simple yet very well told story about the Osu. It is a sad story about injustice and unfair treatment towards a people who have done nothing to deserve it, all as a result of “historical offences.” Not knowing very much about the Osu and their history I found this movie very informative. I loved the traditional setting, the garments and the music. The music was very appropriate at all times. It had a haunting sound to show the melancholy fate that the Osu are resigned to which later changes to more uptempo “happy” music to show joy and hope at around the time the Prince decides that he wants to marry Olamma.
At one point the Prince attends a virgin dance where he is supposed to choose a bride. He chooses Nuria. It turns out that she is not a virgina and so the wedding is called off. He finds out that she is not a virgin when he goes to make love to her one night. After the deed he confronts her about not being a virgin and she tells him that she was raped to which he exclaims,
“You have obviously been at it more than once.” How would he know?
This particular scene has too much static and background noise and the dialogue was difficult to hear.. They should have reshot this one scene. The prince later goes to tell his father,
“I noticed everything in there was loose and filthy.” Haba! How would having sex with that random palace guard guy a few times make it so loose and filthy?
It is very ironic when he then says to his father,
“She should go far away to those kingdoms where they treat women like scum and serpents.” Is Olamma not being treated like scum under your very nose by the osu system which is being upheld in your kingdom?
The question must be asked, can traditional beliefs co exist alongside Christianity? In one scene the Prince asks his father,
“I stand in front of the Virgin Mary which my mother put there as a symbol of our Christian belief before she diesd and yet you still uphold this barbaric culture… I mean forcing me to choose a wife from a dance.”
His father replies,
“Son, we have to walk a tightrope between living in the modern world and maintaining our culture.”
In this movie the caste system is renounced as a barbaric practice and one which is forfeited for modern world practice. We see this when the king declares all Osus in the village as freeborn, despite opposition within his camp. It is a great ending and shows that change can come about when people have passion for an issue and stand up for what they believe to be right as the Prince did with his father. It only takes one person in a position of power to talk up and make others see reason. On hearing that the king wants to declare all Osus freeborn and elder states in supports,
“Don’t we all breathe, cry, feel pain? Are they not human beings as we are?” Very true talk.
The ending is bittersweet. Although the osus are declared free the love between the Prince and Olamma is essentially the sacrificial lamb. She leaves the village. Although she loves the Prince she cannot marry him living in the knowledge that it was his father that killed her mother. It is sad to see that they are not going to be together but at the same time it is realistic. What woman is going to want to be with a man whose father went to the extent of killing her mother? It would be an everyday reminder, so in that sense I understand why the movie ended in the way that it did.
I would recommend this movie. Ini is great as Olamma the oucast, Mercy is great as the village seductress and Mike is good as the Prince but even better when playing the old man role. An excellent make up job was done. Even though I recognised the voice as Mike’s, I looked at the face and it did not even register that it was him. When Mike is playing the old man begging for water because he is thirsty Nuria has no compassion and tells him, “Instead of walking to your grave you are here obstructing the stream path.” It is Olamma that takes pity and gives him water, telling the others, “Don’t you see this man needs help?” This goes to show us that people must be judged on the content of their character and not by how they are labelled by society. Such labels can never show us who a person really is. This one is a must watch!