Pulse Movie Review “Rise Of The Orishas” - reimagining our gods as superheroes

This short film about Orishas (deities) living as ordinary people (embodying unleashed powers) is an interesting documentation of West African culture.

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“Rise Of The Orishas” play

“Rise Of The Orishas”

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Director: Nosa Igbinedion

Main characters: Orwi Imanuel Ameh, Luiana Bonfim, Ethosheia Hylton, Quincy Okpokpor, Prince Shoyelu and Jayde Stedford

Here is an interesting short film about deities and mysterious energy. Whether we care to admit it or not, as we (Nigerians) continue to adopt western cultures, our traditional beliefs and folklores continue to die off. While in some cases change is a good thing, the stories need to be documented in some kind of format be it visual, audio or text for the next generation.

For Nigerian writer, director and producer Nosa Igbinedion, "Oya: Rise Of The Orishas” is how he captures the tales of mystic powers existing in the modern world.

“Rise Of The Orishas” play

Oya awakens in “Rise Of The Orishas”

 

If you ever imagined what an African version of American science fiction TV drama “Heroes” would be like, what you seek is right here. Igbinedion’s film is about Orishas, demigods using their superpowers and supernatural gifts to save the world. After a school girl Rebecca Ameh is kidnapped, one of the demigods Adesua prays to the Supreme God (Oya) to awakens her powers. It brings to light the traditional belief in a divine force once common knowledge to West Africa.

"Oya: Rise Of The Orishas” shows the connection between the ordinary being on earth and their soul which resides in another realm. While in the physical the Adesua may seem powerless, as her powers awakens, she is possessed by a spirit armed with combat skills to rescue Ameh. The story goes deeper than just an abducted school girl being rescued - it's revealed that one of Adesua’s tasks is to preserve the ‘key’. In reality, in the old times, human beings were used as sacrifices to open doors of healing, fruitfulness and even to appease the gods.

“Rise Of The Orishas” play

A scene from “Rise Of The Orishas”

 

I quite like how the film make reference to ‘ori’. In Yoruba language ‘ori’ when translated to English means head. It also is used to describe a person’s soul, spirit and destiny. This short film about Orishas (deities) living as ordinary people (embodying unleashed powers) is an impressive documentation of West African culture in a fictional world.

Watch the short film below:

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