'76 - The Movie
Written By Adanna Onyekara
'76 the movie; 44 years after, how did I become a Nigerian? The matter too shock me my people. Ladies and gentlemen imagine for a second, 1976 Ibadan, six years after a civil war that was fought for 2 years, 6 months, 1 week and 2 days now those were bloody times.
We might not have everything we wish for, but at this moment, let's agree that it's a great time to be alive shall we? Being all in our spaces, the right words to describe events that made 1967, 1970 or even 1976 interesting might not readily come to mind, so thanks to history buffs, or in this case '76 the movie, we're able to relive those times or immerse ourselves just a little bit into that atmosphere through the eyes of Izu Ojukwu and Emmanuel Okomanyi.
For me, '76 the movie was like one of those movies you see the trailer and immediately term the movie a must-watch, if not, for the picture quality, for the four years work that went into making the film with a budget of 3 million dollars, or just for the fact that it had the full acceptance of the Nigerian Army, or even for everything that Izu Ojukwu brings to the table as a director.
Taking us through the deception, the allegiance to the fight for political stability and loyalty, The love of God and country and of course the love story that was Joseph's and Suzy's, the executive producers, Tonye Princewill and Adonijah Owiriwa and the director Izu Ojukwu also took us through the failed military coup against the then ruling faction of the government, perpetrated by over 30 conspirators, both serving and retired military officers lead by Lieutenant colonel Buka Suka Dimka that took place on the 13th of February 1976 a day most Nigerians will come to refer to as a black Friday, the day that the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces General Murtala Muhammed and his aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Akintunde Akinshehinwa were killed on their way to the mosque, alongside the then military governor of Kwara State Colonel Ibrahim Taiwo and other officers of the ruling sect.
While the love nwantintin between Joseph (Ramsey Nouah) and Suzy (Rita Dominic), or the philandering lifestyle of Thomas (Chidi Mokeme) might not have taken place how the movie said it took place, the execution scene according to history that took place at the Lagos Victoria Island Bar Beach on the 11th of March 1976, actually happened, looking at Suzy waiting for her husband Joseph who was among the condemned men facing the firing squad, wondering if he would have a message for their daughter, or if telling him she was sorry would soothe him even if it was just for a little bit, or maybe if all he needed to be strong would be one last smile from her or maybe the tears from her eyes, knowing that the guilt of not seeing him according to her would kill her, with all these thoughts going on in her head just that moment her eyes locked on Thomas.
I will say genuinely, my emotional race here went through the roof, and then the next scene just calmed me down like hello? Obviously we saw this happening. Moving on, was Dimka part of these men? How did his story end? These questions weren't answered by the movie but thanks to history books, May 15, 1976, saw the public execution of Dimka at the Kirikiri Maximum Security Lagos.