LAGOS – It becomes a nightmare when the very land that was supposed to protect you seeks your blood and that of your unborn child. This is the exact horror story of a remote Nigerian village in the Mystic River, where frequent disappearances of pregnant women have left both the villagers and visitors in perpetual fear. No one knows whose pregnant wife would be used next in sacrifice for prosperity of the land.
This remains a mystery until a doctor comes by with a child and she comes near to uncovering some of the most dangerous secrets covering all of these up.
There also, the only health center in the village is in a hopeless condition where the villagers come only to die instead of being saved. It was the same place Bisi, a pregnant woman, came for refuge after escaping from captivity but ended up stabbing herself when the place became unsafe for her and her child.
The 26-episode series shows cultural depth from the props, locations to the characters. Shot in the Ijebu-ode area of Ogun State, it is produced by Rogers Ofime an award-winning executive producer and directed by Uzodinma Okpechi.
The series stars movie veteran actors like Jide Kosoko, who played the role of the king, Dele Odule, who played the role of Balogun, and Joke Muyiwa. Other actors in the production include Ben Touitou, Tonia Chukwurah, Ayo Ewebiyi, Sogade Oluwabunmi, Debby Eloghosa, Folaremi Agunbiade, and Maryjane Ogu.
And it will go public starting from May 14 on Netflix.
When asked what inspired the African story, the talented filmmaker said, “I have decided to carve an inch for myself when it comes to storytelling and what I want to share with the viewers. I want to tell the African story, stories that have impact, stories that can provoke people to think. And stories that will make us want to change things. In telling the story I am not going against tradition and culture.
“The movie is like a metaphor, I feel like there are things we don’t like in our country today and we can stand up and do something about it. Like the doctor stood up to fight the tradition, there are things happening in Nigeria today that we can stand up to change, we don’t always have to leave everything to the government. I believe that standing up or making a change will go a long way.”
Ofime added that the Mystic River is entirely fiction but has an underlying message and lessons on the need to abolish some evil archaic traditions that have brought nothing but sufferings to the people and to also preserve good traditions and cultures in Africa.
Also speaking on the movie, Jude Chukwuka, one of the cast members expressed satisfaction in the outcome of the movie while giving accolades to the producer and crew members for being part of the African story, he said, “There is a dearth of African culture and in whatever way we can push it, let’s push it. The Mystic River is a must-watch because it is set in African told by Africans in an African setting and unashamedly brought to the global stage.”