The timely and powerful, critically-acclaimed documentary THE SUPREME PRICE about women and the pro-democracy movement in Nigeria, will have its European Premiere on the Anniversary of Nigeria’s independence at the Raindance Film Festival 2014. Directed and Produced by award-winning filmmaker Joanna Lipper (Growing Up Fast, Little Fugitive, Inside Out: Portraits of Children), the film is one of six films competing for the Best Documentary Award
n 1993 Nigeria elected M.K.O. Abiola as president in a historic vote that promised to end years of military dictatorship. Shortly after the election, Abiola was imprisoned as another military regime seized power, and his wife, Kudirat, took over the leadership of the pro-democracy movement, organizing strikes and marches and winning international attention for the Nigerian struggle. Because of this work, she too became a target and was assassinated in 1996. Director Joanna Lipper elegantly dovetails past and present as she tells this story through the eyes of Hafsat Abiola, who was about to graduate from Harvard when her mother was murdered. Her father died in prison two years later under mysterious circumstances. Determined not to let her parents’ democratic ideals die with them, Hafsat returns to Nigeria after years in exile and is at the forefront of a progressive movement to empower women and dismantle the patriarchal structure of Nigerian society. THE SUPREME PRICE provides a unprecedented look inside of Africa’s most populous nation, exposing the tumultuous, violent history of a deeply entrenched corrupt culture of governance where a tiny circle of political elites monopolize billions of dollars worth of oil revenue while the masses remain impoverished.
Filmmaker Joanna Lipper said, “I’m delighted to be having our European Premiere at Raindance Film Festival on 1st October, a significant date which marks 54 years of Nigerian Independence. This is an ideal moment in time for viewers to contemplate Nigeria’s complex, historic evolution as a nation as well as an opportunity for me as a filmmaker to raise awareness and spark provocative discussions about women’s rights in present-day Nigeria. During the Q&A I will be joined by a representative from Women for Women International, one of several organisations I have partnered with on the impact and outreach campaign for the film.”
“Several years ago when I first began working on my documentary, I had no way of knowing that in the month leading up to the film’s premiere at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, Nigeria would be front and centre in news around the world. The horrific kidnapping of over 250 school girls in the north part of the country is a tragic story that touches upon the film’s key themes: the need to protect, educate and empower women and girls; the need for increased numbers of women leaders in political positions of power to represent their best interests; the violent backlash in the face of progressive change when it comes to traditional gendered stereotypes that involve the oppression of women; and the complete absence of a Nigerian government that is accountable to the masses. My film aims to provide context and a historical backdrop for understanding these kinds of developments, while also highlighting the efforts of heroic Nigerian women who are working every day to educate women, to hold their leaders accountable, and to improve their country so that Nigeria can realize its enormous potential.”
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