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Ikenna Nwachukwu

Bolanle Austen-Peters, known for her contributions to the creative arts (especially with the Terra Culture centre), decided that it was worth the challenge to do the movie 93 Days, because she thought the story told by its script was “gripping, fascinating, sensational, and heroic”. And for 18 months, she worked along with a star-studded cast- directed by the award winning Steve Gukas –to bring the “gripping” script to life.
93 Days tells the story of a nation battling the rampaging Ebola virus, and circles in on the travails of a handful of figures at the First Consultant Hospital in Lagos, where the first death from the disease took place. The movie portrays the experience of its staff as a fight, a struggle against a dark monster, whose merciless advance leaves the hopes and dreams of ordinary Nigerians working in a healthcare institution dead in its wake. The casualties are characterized as martyrs, the survivors as victors. The world watching on is largely unseen, but alluded to on several occasions; and they watch Nigeria triumph, despite the odds being stacked against her.
The acting is, on the whole, quite good. Bimbo Akintola, who plays the role of the heroic Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh, carves out a strong character around which the story revolves. Her take on the selfless hospital consultant is almost flawless: a personality passionate about her fellow workers and her patie ... Read Full Review

Bolanle Austen-Peters, known for her contributions to the creative arts (especially with the Terra Culture centre), decided that it was worth the challenge to do the movie 93 Days, because she thought the story told by its script was “gripping, fascinating, sensational, and heroic”. And for 18 months, she worked along with a star-studded cast- directed by the award winning Steve Gukas –to bring the “gripping” script to life.
93 Days tells the story of a nation battling the rampaging Ebola virus, and circles in on the travails of a handful of figures at the First Consultant Hospital in Lagos, where the first death from the disease took place. The movie portrays the experience of its staff as a fight, a struggle against a dark monster, whose merciless advance leaves the hopes and dreams of ordinary Nigerians working in a healthcare institution dead in its wake. The casualties are characterized as martyrs, the survivors as victors. The world watching on is largely unseen, but alluded to on several occasions; and they watch Nigeria triumph, despite the odds being stacked against her.
The acting is, on the whole, quite good. Bimbo Akintola, who plays the role of the heroic Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh, carves out a strong character around which the story revolves. Her take on the selfless hospital consultant is almost flawless: a personality passionate about her fellow workers and her patients, and determined to do all she can to prevent the virus from spreading further. Danny Glover’s portrayal of Dr. Benjamin Ohiaeri, First Consultant’s Chief Medical officer, is also brilliant- not a surprise considering his experience as a first-rate Hollywood actor. Somkhele Idhalama put up some performance in her rendition of the harrowing but inspiring experience of Dr. Ada Igonoh, a medical practitioner who got infected while in the line of duty but made a rare recovery. Rousing words charging patients to fight for their lives and urging health workers on the field to be careful and fearless were the hallmarks of Alister Mackenzie’s rather impressive display in his depiction of Dr. David Brett-Major (an official of the World Health Organization was involved in the early response operations during Nigeria’s Ebola crisis). Patrick Sawyer probably gets something of a posthumous rehabilitation in the movie, with Keppy Ekpenyong presenting a more human picture of the Liberian-American who ‘introduced’ (appealing to the view many Nigerians have of him) the disease to Nigeria.
The story flows almost devoid of unnecessary punctuations, and it doesn’t take long to engross the watcher (the degree of engagement could vary with the viewer’s tastes). The ordinary moments (Mrs Adadevoh praying with her husband and son at the dining table just before a meal) give way to the brutal interruption of Ebola, with the coming of Patrick Sawyer, his death, and the struggles of the people who come down with the disease, as they battle to stay alive. A profoundly touching story plays out: a tapestry of an account, a description of heroism we as humans can relate to, interweaving pain, gloom, humor, defiance and hope. In the end, there is victory, obtained at the cost of lives of heroes celebrated for their self-sacrifice.
There were a few aspects in which things could have been done better (it was always going to be difficult for Ekpenyong to perfectly reproduce the unique Liberian accent, and some of the acting, especially at the start, seems suspect). But it’s a great movie, principally because the story is told in a way that is able to connect with its audience.
“We carried the story of a nation,” Steve Gukas said at the movie’s Premiere on Tuesday. “To aggregate that in two hours is no mean feat.”
This reviewer thinks Gukas was right. He, as well as the other members of the team involved in the making of the movie, should get top marks for this one.

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