Nigeria At 63: Films You Should See On Independence Day

Just in case you’re feeling a bit patriotic

  • written by Joy Onu
  • 5 min read
  • 01 Oct, 2023
Nigerian Independence Day 1960

Nigeria turns 63 today, and it’s so easy to focus on all the shege we’ve seen and lived through (Because it’s a lot). But today, we’re going to focus on the beautiful things, like the people, the culture, the music, the food, the clothes, and most especially, the movies.

Watching Nollywood movies on Independence Day should be a rite of passage, especially movies that take you back in time to a place we can only imagine, because most of us weren’t born then. Like I was saying, watching Nollywood movies on Nigeria’s Independence Day can be a great way to celebrate Nigerian culture, history, and talent. 

So let’s get into it, yeah? Here are some Nollywood movie recommendations that showcase Nigerian culture, history, or patriotism, fitting for Independence Day viewing.

History Of Nigeria

A History Of Nigeria By Jide Olanrewaju
Truth be told, this is a documentary film, it’s actually one of the best documentaries out there that will give you a full history lesson about Nigeria. It’s beautiful, yet it doesn’t fail to get into the nitty-gritty bits.

This Jide Olanrewaju documentary is a must see for every Nigerian out there, it’s the best thing you’re going to watch on Nigeria’s Independence Day because it will take you on a whirlwind journey through the colonial and post-colonial era in Nigeria's history, you should really check it out.

Half of a Yellow Sun (2013)

Half Of A Yellow Sun Movie
Based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's novel, this historical drama provides a powerful portrayal of the Nigerian Civil War, highlighting the struggle for independence and the impact it had on people's lives.

Half of a Yellow Sun takes you back to a moment in time that is historical, it teaches you about Nigeria’s past, and it pushes you to want to find out even more. One thing I love about Half of a Yellow Sun is how it emphasizes the importance of togetherness as a country, regardless of our tribe and culture.

October 1 (2014)

October 1
Directed by Kunle Afolayan, this thriller set in the year 1960, just before Nigeria gained independence, explores the investigations of a seasoned detective as Nigeria approaches its self-rule.

This is the closest you’re going to get to experiencing Nigeria's Independence day for yourself, it literally takes you back in time, without the grime killings of course. In this movie, there’s a lot of richness that is attached to the way people lived during that time, the fashion, the music, the people, and the history of it all can be felt heavily.

P.S. Don’t watch this at night.

‘76 (2016)

'76 2016 Movie
This historical fiction film directed by Izu Ojukwu has everything, from a forbidden romance trope, to military coup and assassination storylines. The film was set during the attempted coup in Nigeria in 1976 on General Murtala Mohammed, the drama follows a soldier accused of participating in the coup and explores the impact on his family and relationships.

Life in Nigeria isn’t easy, to say the least, but if there’s one thing we have going for us, it’s how beautifully diverse we are, how beautifully interwoven our culture is, our badass music, the great deal of talent we have in one nation, and everything in between. All of which should be celebrated, these movies provide a mix of historical, cultural, and contemporary themes that can spark reflection and celebration of Nigeria's journey to independence.

Enjoy your Independence Day movie marathon!

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