Nigeria’s First Lesbian Film Courts Controversy Ahead of Online Debut

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11/22/2020

“Ife” is a love story, pure and simple, the film’s producer said. The title is taken from the word for “love” in the Yoruba language of Nigeria. But this love story between two women, in a society where homosexuality is largely shunned and where same-sex marriage is illegal, is a little more complicated. It is the first such cinematic release from a nation that leads the continent’s film industry. Nigeria’s censorship board threatened to “go after” the filmmakers for “promoting homosexuality” in a film industry that despite its huge output, is largely conservative in its themes. The threat has led filmmakers to not push for local release. Instead, they plan to debut it online December 10.

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