Lead actors on Dark October – Chuks Joseph, Munachi Okpara, Kem-Ajieh Ikechukwu, Kelechukwu Oriaku, Chibie Olusama, share on #ChudesFilmClub
The stars discussed what it took to be on such a project and also reacted to the controversies about the real victim’s parents not giving consent to the story to be told and the timing of the story.
Munachi speaks to being a young person in a country where brutality against young people has become the norm. “‘It’s been happening for the longest time, it hasn’t stopped or reduced. I stay in Surulere, and just opposite my house, they have lynched people more than five times. And nothing has been done about it, it is too barbaric, seeing the times we are in. I feel like, why does it have to be like that? It is really sad, and human beings will walk past and say that it is not my business, and if they even want to make it their business, all they do is post about it, make it into a hashtag, and trends for two weeks. Nobody is ready to take action, and when we do take action, it is a problem.”
On getting the consent of the family to tell the story, Kem Ajieh Ikechukwu shared, “I would have loved it if we took consent from the family, but now that we didn’t the important thing is the message. I feel like the controversies should be that, this the story has been told and let this (event) not happen again. No to jungle justice.
On filming the lynching scene, Chuks Joseph shared, “It was hard to film that (lynching) scene. I had to put myself in the shoes (of those in the story). I was Tizzy all through (but) I looked at them and saw my brothers and I’m like okay these people really want to kill us. I tell people it was no longer acting, I felt like I was about to be killed. Some people in the market thought it was real, so people were passing and thought they caught thieves, some actually came to meet us and say ‘are you okay?’ So, we had to be there and no longer act and be like we were about to be killed.
Reacting to the controversies on social media, Chibie Olusama shared, “I feel like Nigerians need to expand their mindset because the movie teaches a lot. Without me being on this project, I wouldn’t have known about this thing at all. The fact that I got to play in it gave me more insights. Before when I see people beating up thieves, I don’t really care but now, I will like to make that difference. I feel like this story needs to be told.
“If Nigerians are still behaving like this even after the death of those boys, that means there is actually no justice because they are dead and forgotten, apart for now that we are telling the story. And there are other people like that who have died and nobody knows about it. And there is no actual justice, if we are not doing anything about it” Kelechi added.
Kem Ajieh Ikekchukwu shared on the choice of cast for the project, “I wasn’t surprised, because I knew that if Linda wanted to tell this story, she wouldn’t use anybody popular because it would take away the authenticity of the project and the message that we were trying to pass across. People would now be like, ‘Oh, my fave is there, let me watch my fave’, they would miss out of the message that we are passing. When she called for audition for millions of boys, I knew that she had a reason. The amazing part was when we now got on set, and we saw that even the other cast were not so popular people. I was so impressed. I am happy that she trusted us with the project”.
Dark October is a film based on the story of four university students in Nigeria who were accused of theft and killed in a mob attack that sparked nationwide outrage. The film was produced by Linda Ikeji and directed by Toka McBaror
Watch the excerpts from the interview here