On Friday, Blessing Egbe, writer, producer and director of the soar-away Lekki Wives, released her latest film, The Women.
In this interview with TheCable, she speaks about her inspiration, some of the challenges she encountered while producing the movie and her next steps for the future.
What inspired and what do you plan to achieve with your latest film ‘The Women?’
With The Women, I hope for movie fans will enjoy themselves. I plan to achieve a lot, plus a good turn-over for all the hard work. True life events inspired The Women. The story was created from an unfortunate event that happened to an acquaintance but I spiced it up some more for juicy dramatic effects.
From your body of work, you seem to be very heavy on the issues of women and family. Has this always been your motive, If not, how did it come about?
I am only now just starting to be aware that the issues of women have been my go-to source for content. After many questions as to why I am now convinced that perhaps it is my calling? (Laughter) But seriously I connect with these stories. I am a woman, married for nearly ten years, I have seen, felt, heard first-hand marital issues of all forms and types. I love to write what I know, things that are organic to me and stories that my target audience can relate with. Sometimes, I feel what my characters feel. I know them, some are my friends, some I make up, but mostly my stories are true to life. I don’t really know how it came about but well, here we are so let’s keep going.
What particular challenges did you face shooting this film?
Usually, with my filming, I hardly ever face challenges except it is an act of God. This is because I usually plan way ahead of time. But things were a bit different this time.
What were some of the challenges you encountered while bringing ‘The Women’ to life?
Two major challenges I faced. The first was during the filming of the climax scene where the owners of the location we used became impatient, resulting to us rushing the scene. The second would be during post-production when I had to find an editor to handle the final cut down and fine tuning I desired due to the non-availability of the first editor. In the process, we had to cut down on the quality from 4k to 2k. But in all of this, I thank God that everything went well and in the end, we have a movie we are proud of.
You have not distributed your film through the cinemas for a while, what expectations do you have for ‘The Women’, are you anxious?
It is true that I have not had a full on cinema release for my films for a while but I intend to change that with The Women. And I am both anxious and excited about the outcome and reception
Do you worry that feminists would have issues with your movie and portrayal of women? All the female characters seem dysfunctional?
I don’t think feminists would frown at the portrayal of women in this film. You know why; because the majority of women can relate with what they see in the film. What I have portrayed is not far from the truth. Women are complicated, I tell you. And just like the movie exposes, a woman who feels the lack of love from her man can allow that feeling to spiral into different reactions ranging from cheating to lesbianism to depression. So no, I think I did good to show women and men the way women are…or could be if.
At the end of the film all the women beg but the men who are equally guilty do not. Don’t you think that is problematic?
At the end of the film, the women who erred, begged. A man who understood his wife’s negative reaction also begs. The only man who erred but did not beg was the man who thought his wife’s sins were more than his… I let that portrayal be because that is what we face in Nigeria where the story is set.
The Women seems like a movie version of Lekki Wives. Do you agree?
I agree that The Women have similarities with Lekki Wives but don’t most of my other works do? Check out This Thing Called Marriage, One Room, soon to be released She Drives me Nuts. It’s all about women and our wahala. You have to agree that the women come with a whole new flavour. Drama raised to power 8!
The Women is a very funny movie and the jokes are on point. How did that work out?
To be honest, I never set out to write funny stuff. For me, it’s all about the story and if a funny dialogue works for a scene, then it works. In fact, I was surprised by the many bursts of laughter from the audience at the premiere, but I can’t complain. It means that people will have smiles on their faces when they leave the cinema after watching
What will you like to say to your fans about the cinema opening of the film?
I would like to ask that Nigerians show us some love and support us. We have cooked up something worth their time and money and in the end, it will be a win-win for all.
Sound was good. Picture quality was good. Story was good. What do you say to your team?
To my team, I say thank you and good job! You see why it’s good to calm down and do things right? Don’t get offended that I am stressing you to give me the best. It pays all in the end. Love you guys.
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