Instincts tell us that cultural movies are way off balance in today’s contemporary society. Long gone are the days when cultural movies were seen as the mirror to our roots and lamp to our cultural morals. Could it be that cultural movies are losing their flavour or that flavour is at loggerheads with cultural movies? Could it be that we are just the careless ones that brush aside the flavour because we have a substitute already or that the flavour in the local movies brushes us aside instead?
However, we don’t even need to bit back old history as an evidence of the positive impact of cultural movies on us. The fresh past is enough to challenge our instincts that the cultural images we see on the screen serve as a mint that carves out our socio-cultural knowledge. We wouldn’t deny the fact that some of us became a kingpin of our dialects through local movies. Even some other heavy chunks of Igbo, Hausa traditionalism and the likes that we digest on the screen affirm this proposition. Most times, images and simulations speak louder than words.
There is of course a fat line between what we called our cultural movies in the fresh past and the fresh present. Strangely, I wouldn’t tread on common grounds and say that those who lose themselves in simulations to ensure that our culture is born in us are to be blamed. If there is anyone that deserves to be served a dinner of blame, it is the youths. The reason cannot be stretched too far. Gradually, maybe totally, we are losing sight of what connects us to the present and constantly craving for the illusions of now.
It is best to point to the fact that the leathery meat that refuses to be chewed easily is the orientation we get from the cultural movies of today. They do not truly reflect the true attributes of the past. Unfortunately, the muses behind these movies are of the mind that many youths have lost interest in their ancient dramas due to the wind of civilisation. The effect is that the private actors go totally out of the line to satisfy the illusions of the stray dogs. This is not an item of blame neither is it an avenue to justify the nonchalant attitude of the youths towards cultural movies. Truth be told, it is not everyone that can be struck by the wind of time, so are some youths that still have unique interest in ancient dramas regardless. This is of course a tripod of observation that even when youths depart from the way, the apathy of the youths towards the way should not be stronger enough to make the way imitate them and destroy the originality of the way. Re-echoing late Chinua Achebe, “when a tradition gathers enough strength to go on for centuries, you don’t just turn it off one day.”
This article was written by Ajayi Mary; connect with her on Instagram here