In Wild Flower, Okonkwo explores gender-based violence
After his successful outing with Ponzi in 2021, Nigerian film director, Vincent Okonkwo has returned with his latest movie, The Wild Flower.
The movie, which stars the writer of Nearly All The Men In Lagos Are Mad, Damilare Kuku, in the lead role, also featured Deyemi Okanlawon, Toyin Abraham, Sandra Okunzuwa, Zubby Micheal, Etinosa Idemudia, Nosa Rex, Imoh Eboh, Kiki Omeili, Eso Dike, Angel Unigwe and Rachel Emem Isaac.
Directed by Biodun Stephen, the film, which sheds light on sexual abuse and violence against women, aims to educate the target audience on the experiences some women go through with a view to curbing the menace of abuse.
The story follows the journey of three women living in the same compound, who experience different forms of assault from the men around them. Rolake gets a new job as the personal assistant to Gowon Williams, an architectural guru, but things take an unexpected turn when she accompanies him on a work trip.
Meanwhile, 40-year-old Mama Olisa (Toyin Abraham) husband’ occasionally batters her, and their 17-year-old older daughter Adaolisa has become the latest target of Johntana (Zubby Michael), a pervert who also lives in their compound.
The experiences these women face, set off a chain reaction in their lives and in the lives of women who have found themselves in similar situations, especially when Rolake decides to speak up and revolt.
Speaking with The Guardian at the movie premiere in Lagos, Okonkwo said: “There are lots of perverts who get away with crimes; it is important that women speak up and stay out of abusive relationships. Parents must also pay attention to their daughters.”
On how he was able to convince big names in Nollywood to be part of the project, Okonkwo who returned to Nigeria in October 2009 to engage in the full-time operation of his company, said: “We were looking to get the best out of each cast. It is important to get people that can interpret each character properly, we want to get it right and I am happy that I have veterans in this project. The production took place in October 2021. Nigerians should expect more projects from VSF media this year.”
Also speaking, Kuku said: “Everything that has to do with women’s stories is challenging; I spoke with people who have been in similar situations to be able to tell the story better.”
There are lessons to learn at the end of every character, and I learnt something through this too; all that glitters is not gold. I had a lot of fun on the set, you can be guaranteed maximum fun on set working with Biodun Stephen as a director.
Sharing her experience on the set, Nollywood actress Iyabo Ojo, said: “We need more male filmmakers to also produce more movies on domestic violence. No one will like to see his or her daughter get raped or experience domestic violence. No more culture of silence, everyone should talk about it more because a fight for one is a fight for all.”