Nollywood, Nigeria’s entertainment sector, has been flourishing for many years. It boasts the world’s second-largest film industry behind Hollywood, but it has yet to produce a really international, mainstream hit like K-drama “Squid Game”. It’s been boiled down for a long time to a predilection for localized stories that can’t readily be disseminated outside of Nigeria, along with low production values. However, that is likely to change as Nigerian storytelling reaches a wider audience and streaming platforms such as Netflix invest in premium content from the country’s best creators.
The potential is exemplified by Netflix’s first Nigerian original TV series, “Blood Sisters.” The four-part drama comes from EbonyLife Studios, which is run by prolific producer Mo Abudu, and you’ll be hard-pressed to leave the first episode without being blown away.
“Blood Sisters” is a film about best friends Sarah (Ini Dima Okojie) and Kemi (Nancy Isime) as they prepare for the former’s extravagant wedding in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city. When Sarah wants to call off the wedding because of groom Kola’s (Deyemi Okanlawon) aggressive tendencies toward her, her family forces her to remain in order to sustain their livelihood.
In a prologue, Sarah (Ini Dima-Okojie) and Kemi (Nancy Isime) are seen discussing Sarah’s marriage to Kola (Deyemi Okanlawon) and enjoying their closeness. Meanwhile, Femi (Gabriel Afolayan), Kola’s older brother, informs his wife, Yinka (Kehinde Bankole), that an assassin has been hired to assassinate his brother during the nuptials.
Kola arrives at the rehearsal dinner, straight from his meeting with the board, and notices Sarah. When Sarah’s ex-boyfriend Kenny (Ibrahim Suleiman) arrives and causes a ruckus, he becomes enraged. Sarah is hit in the stomach by Kola while attempting to apologize.The next scene depicts Sarah and Kola’s families at a dinner table, and it’s clear that Kola’s family, particularly his mother (Kate Henshaw), despises Sarah and her family due to their poverty. Sarah tells Kemi and her mother about Kola’s mistreatment after supper. While Kemi begs her mother to call off the wedding, her mother tells her that the family’s finances are at risk.
During the engagement party, Kola defeats the hitman intended to assassinate him. Sarah reconsiders her decision to marry after some thought. Kola gets enraged and attempts to strangle her, but is stopped when Kemi shoots him, killing him.When both ladies are anxiously looking for ways to cover up their crime, the beginning scenario is revealed.Kola’s family is concerned about his disappearance. While Timeyin (Genoveva Umeh), his drug-addicted sister, accuses their brother of murdering him, his mother is hopeful that he has come to his senses and is taking a vacation. However, when a photographer takes incriminating photographs, the ladies have a dilemma.
They kill him as a result of his impossible blackmail. Kola’s body is eventually discovered, and the search for the girls begins. To avoid the cops, the girls flee, encountering many obstacles along the way. The sisters prepare to travel to another nation with Kenny’s help, but their preparations are cut short when he is killed by an organ smuggler.
Following their confrontation with the organ trafficker, Kemi gets a serious injury, prompting the girls to travel to her grandmother’s town for help. They were caught by the cops and escorted to an abandoned warehouse by Kola’s uncle, Uncle B, throughout their stay (Ramsey Nouah).Kola’s mother, seeking vengeance, asks Femi to murder the girls. When Timeyin notices his hesitation, she volunteers to do the job, but instead of attacking the girls, she shoots Uncle B.With Timeyin putting a gun at her mother’s head, the movie ends on a suspense.
Nancy Isime and Ini-Dinma had incredible chemistry as they demonstrated the true meaning of friendship. Kate Henshaw also shines as the nasty and resentful mother. Genoveva Umeh, the breakout actor, plays a convincing heroin addict who fails to see a mother’s love while in treatment.
The cinematography is particularly excellent, with the production crew capturing magnificent vistas that are representative of Nigeria. The series portrays a genuine picture of the country, from high-brow districts to locations like Makoko.The characters’ outfits stood out as well, since the designer chose to create distinctive pieces that, to some part, reflected the individuals’ identities.
There is also a good examination of topics such as physical abuse and homicide, which are still contentious concerns in society.From Sarah and Kola’s ex-perspective, girlfriend’s the filmmakers used storytelling to bring additional light on abuse victims.Friendship, familial importance, class, and the ambition for power were all themes that recurred throughout the series.The stunts were unusual for a Nollywood film but they were well-executed.
Where to Watch
Cast and Crew
Series title: Blood sisters
Running time: Average of 50 minutes per episode
Directors: Biyi Bandele and Kenneth Gyang
Creator: Temidayo Makanjuola
Cast: Ini Dima-Okojie, Nancy Isime, Ramsey Nouah, Kate Henshaw, Gabriel Afolayan, Uche Jombo, Kehinde Bankole, Daniel Etim Effiong, Wale Ojo and Deyemi Okanlawon.
Date of Release: May 5, 2022