Netflix has announced that one of its original film initiatives titled Beasts of No Nation, will be available as from October 16, 2015 on the streaming site, as well as select theaters across the U.S.
If you think the title sounds familiar, then you are probably right. The film, directed by Cary Fukunaga, is an adaptation of the 2005 novel of the same name by Nigerian author, Uzodinma Iweala. The novel in turn takes it’s title from the 1989 album by Afro beats Legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
The film follows the story of Agu, a child soldier torn from his family and forced to join a unit of mercenary fighters in the civil war of an unnamed West African country (but you could probably guess it is Nigeria). Not only must Agu face the death of his father and disappearance of his mother and sister, but must also join a life of violence and brutality. Agu befriends a mute boy named Strika and together they face the crimes and hardships of war.
The film stars Idris Elba, Abraham Attah, Ama K. Abebrese, Grace Nortey, David Dontoh and Opeyemi Fagbohungbe.
Despite the story’s heavy ‘Nigerianness’, the film was shot entirely on location in the eastern part of Ghana (probably due to the unstable security situation in Nigeria).
According to Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer, “Beasts of No Nation is a powerful film that unfolds beautifully in the hands of director Cary Fukunaga with Idris Elba delivering a career-defining performance.”
The sad news is that, we’ll probably not get to see Beasts of No Nations in Nigeria, at least not through legal means, seeing as Netflix isn’t available in the country yet, and no Nigerian cinema is said to be lined up for distribution yet (although I hope that changes in the coming weeks).
Just in case you were wondering, Uzodinma Iweala is the son of Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Source: Shadow and Act