Lionheart is the first Netflix original film from Nigeria and tells a familiar story of a young woman trying to prove herself in a world dominated by men.
Netflix is a global brand and part of extending that brand includes making shows and films with creatives from other parts of the world. Fittingly, for their first foray into the Nigerian film scene, Netflix tapped a Nollywood icon in Genevieve Nnaji. She both directed, and starred in Lionheart and there is no denying her talent.
Though the story itself is familiar, there is a certain power to the story being told from another perspective. It was also great to see a side of Africa represented in this film that most don’t have the opportunity to see. I also need to see more Genevieve Nnaji in the years to come.
Lionheart tells the story of a young woman who works for her father’s bus company in a key role. When he falls ill, she hopes that he chooses her to run the company but he doesn’t. Over the course of the film she has to learn to accept this while also working to resolve a large issue that may cause her father to lose the company.
Along the way she has to face their rival company, reach out to people she never wanted to have to see again for help, and deal with an internal power struggle as well. Things go wrong for her at many turns but overall this is a fun film with a nice twist near the end.
There isn’t a ton to say about this movie. I’d say it’s a safe choice as an introduction to the Nollywood scene. The story itself is familiar enough for American audiences and it is primarily in English so you don’t have to deal with subtitles much. It’s a great introduction to the culture and represents Nigeria well. Give it a chance and you aren’t likely to be blown away but you will hopefully be introduced to another corner of the world.
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