As its Friday September 2, 2020 Premiere date on Netflix approaches, excitement and anticipation are building up around Collision Course, the hard-hitting film by Bolanle Austen-Peters.
Last Saturday August 20 highlighted how much the movie is well-anticipated when actors and crew members on the film as well as select guests gathered in Lagos for a private viewing of the movie, which explores the impact of rogue law enforcement officers on Nigerian society and how their unenviable harsh personal lives is sometimes a factor in their official duties.
Inspired by the October 2020 anti-police brutality protests in Lagos, Abuja and many other cities in southern Nigeria, the film has only been shown to a privileged few last November when it premiered as the closing film at the All Africa Film Festival (AFRIFF), which held at Landmark event centre in Lagos.
Echos of Year 2020’s #endsars protests reverberates through Collision Course as a reminder on how many Nigerian youths took to the streets to demand an end to what they called endemic police brutality.
The protests, especially in Lagos, ended on a brutal and tragic note when armed soldiers reportedly opened fire on unarmed protesters on the night of October 20 2020.
Saturday’s special private screening brought back the import of the 75-minute film as a topical, intensely-detailed and well-acted film about a police officer struggling to make ends meet and his encounter with an aspiring musician whose worlds collide.
Brilliantly played by Kelechi Udegbe, the police officer sets up a roadblock to extract gratification from drivers as troubles at home grew, only to encounter the frustrated young artist with a pregnant wife.
After accidentally shooting dead the musician, the plot sets in motion a chain of events that leads to emotional trauma, arrest and a note-worthy commentary on the state of affairs within the police force.
One of the guests at the screening, Catherine Bickersteth, an educationist and development leader, said the film’s director deserves an applause “for crafting a great production about an important social issue so brilliantly. “Collision Course is an indelible film on several levels: The storyline: topical and emotive but balanced.
The script: delivered the multilayered messages in succinct language freely and smoothly flowing from good grammar to pidgin English and local dialect.
The Acting: superbly evoked both visceral and intellectual reactions from unforgettably skilled characterization.
The locations: perfectly enhanced the narrative. For local viewers because the locations were not made-up sets, they emphasised the reality of the lives the characters were portraying.
The music: heightened the rollercoaster of emotions of the film. Austen-Peters, who personally picked the Best Film (West-Africa) award for the film at the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA) earlier this year, said Collision Course seeks to show some of the underlying issues that forces someone to turn against the very same people he swore to defend.
“I found out that every single person in the story had a back story that we all needed to understand, and at the end of this when you watch this movie you begin to understand that we are all victims, we are all brutalized by the system that we live in,” she said.
Aside its AMVCA award, Collision Course also earned Udegbe the Best Actor award at last year’s AFRIFF and picked two out of the four it was nominated for at the last African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA).
The film hits Netflix for global streaming on September 2, 2022.
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