The long in the works, much postponed historical romance thriller directed by Nollywood fav, Izu Ojukwu is finally here. Produced by Tonye Princewill and Adonijah Owiriwa, -who shares a supporting acting role,- ’76 (formerly Lions of ‘76) is an ambitious passion project that makes thrilling viewing out of historical events.
It has been at least 7 years since Ojukwu and his partners first conceived of the project and the years have been spent putting everything in order to ensure a worthwhile experience. Although proudly made in Nigeria with a local cast and crew, ’76 wants to play in the big leagues where the best of world cinema comes out to party. Going by the finished product, it does stand a chance.
The events of the year 1976 aren’t exactly our finest moments as a country. The Lt. Col Dimka-led coup that culminated in the assassination of the military head of state, General Murtala Muhammed in Lagos was thwarted at the last minute and the Nigerian Army began an investigation to bring to account all the perpetrators and instigators. It is against this interesting and mysterious back drop that Ojukwu and his writer, Emmanuel Okomanyi situate their fictional tale.
In this account, 1976 is the year that newlywed Captain Joseph Dewa from the middle belt geographical region returns from a prior posting to resume life with his heavily pregnant fiancée, Suzie (a glowing Rit ...