SHORT FILMS TO WATCH: Big Man

By Anele Nzimande (@AneleNzimande)

The film highlights the complexities of male to male relationships and the very early age in which this starts. It speaks to the bigger issue in our African society of masculinity and, specifically, how men are raised not to back down from any challenge.

Written and directed by: Julius Onah

Cast: Adekunle Adelek, Tubi Aiyedehin, Michael Asuelime, Kaptaintony Ofili-Akpom and Wale Ojo

Big Man is a short Nigerian film that follows the relationship and interactions between the two young brothers when their parents are not keeping a watchful eye. The boys, Uzoma and Chiz are curious and adventurous and have a mutual love for playing games. Uzoma, who is the older, more courageous and defiant brother is constantly overpowering his younger brother Chize.

The film highlights the complexities of male to male relationships and the very early age in which this starts. It speaks to the bigger issue in our African society of masculinity and, specifically, how men are raised not to back down from any challenge. At first glance, it is easy to view Uzoma as the villain of the pair, the one who was always instigating trouble. However, upon further inspection one realises that Chize is equally guilty for not learning to stand up for himself. How much blame can we place on others for our inability to say ‘no’?

Too often people do things they do not want because of peer pressure or from a place of trying to prove their strength to others. A simple lesson can be learned here, whether it is family or friends, whether we are two little boys playing games or two grown men challenging one another to a drag race – we are responsible for what happens to us and we ought to build up the courage to say no, no matter how foolish it’ll make us seem.

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