Here is the trailer for award-winning director Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen’s epic new period film, ‘INVASION 1897.’ This historical drama is ‘based on the 1897 invasion of the great Benin Kingdom by the British, who then carted off more than 3,224 pieces of Benin arts and artifacts, which, to date, still occupy museums around the globe.’
‘INVASION 1897’ is an ambitious film that celebrates the creation of the Nigerian nation, as the filmmakers seek to give an accurate historical account of events and also to make a statement regarding the rights of the West to continue to keep the artifacts. It also opens up the hidden truths behind the invasion, long painted as a “massacre” by the West. The year 2014 marks 100 years since the 1914 death of Oba Ovonramwen N’ogbaisi, the then-sitting Oba who ruled as king from 1888 until 1897, and later died in exile in Calabar, where he was banished by the British following the invasion. It is in that spirit, then, that Invasion 1897 is launched — in his memory.
Some 200 of the pieces were taken to the British Museum in London, while the rest were purchased by other European museums. Today, a large number are held by the British Museum in London, and remain on display in the Africa wing. Other Benin pieces are in Germany and the U.S., among other countries. Part of the motivation behind the making of ‘INVASION 1897’ is to raise awareness of the issue of the priceless African art that still remains in museums and collections in other parts of the world, and to call for their return.
The movie was filmed between London, Benin City and Edo State and took over four years to shoot. The movie stars veteran Nigerian actors Segun Arinze, Charles Inojie, Nosa Ehimwen, Paul Obazele, Leo Mezie, Mike Omoriegbe (as Oba Ovonrawmen), Idiata Otiagbe and the late Justus Esiri in a cameo role. Famous British actors include Rudolph Walker, Charles “Chucky” Venn, Annika Álofti, Garett Mort, Hannah Raehse-Felstead, Tim Robinson, Rob Spackman, Patrick Thompson and Keith Davinson.
‘INVASION 1897’ will premiere tomorrow at the 2014 Toronto African Film and Music Festival (August 29 to 31), and then show in the UK (along with an exhibition of artifacts from Benin) on September 13, 2014. Following that on September 17th, Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C, will screen the film on September 17, 2013. Nigerians will get to view the movie from September 23 to 26.
Source: Press Release/PR WEB