Cinema: “The Black Book”, the Nigerian film that is a hit on Netflix

The Black Book, an action thriller produced and directed by Editi Effiong, is breaking audience records on the pay-TV platform Netflix. One month after its release, the film ranks among the top ten titles viewed in 69 countries. A success that reflects Nollywood’s rise to international prominence.

When Paul Edima, a repentant killer turned committed pastor, learns that his son, wrongly suspected of a crime, has been shot dead, he sets out to find the killers. This plunge into the underbelly of the police force takes him straight to the mastermind, a general whose henchmen Edima had once been.

Conspiracy, revenge, violence, The Black Book, produced and directed by Editi Effiong, is a spectacular thriller that captivated five and a half million viewers in just two days on Netflix and has been in the platform’s top 10 worldwide for the past three weeks. Only Living in Bondage, another Nigerian film released in 2022, has done better.

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Moving upmarket

The Black Book cost one million dollars. Financed, produced, directed and acted 100% by Nigerians, the film reflects the upmarket nature of Nollywood (the Nigerian film industry). With 2,000 productions a year, Nollywood is flourishing, but still considered qualitatively weaker than European, American and Asian productions. A judgment that may soon have to be revised. Netflix has already understood this. The platform is stepping up its productions and co-productions in Nigeria and Africa in general.

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