Nigeria’s box office record-breaking film Fifty is now on Netflix. The EbonyLife Films production directed by Biyi Bandele (Half of a Yellow Sun) follows the lives of four middle-aged Nigerian women at the height of their careers and showcases the complex lives of African women like we rarely see on the big screen. Set in the suburbs of Lagos and built around the fast tempo of the city, the film explores the stories of Elizabeth (played by Ireti Doyle), Tola (Dakore Egbuson-Akande), Maria (Omoni Oboli), and Kate (Nse Ikpe-Etim) as they navigate the complications and eccentricities that come with their social standings and age. There is love, intrigue, betrayal, rivalry, loss, greed, even religion—all perfect ingredients for a worthwhile story. If that isn’t enough, there are also cameos and musical offerings from the likes of Femi Kuti, King Sunny Ade and Tiwa Savage, among others.
Early reviewers have praised the movie, making sure to point out such aspects as the costumes, sound, cinematography and plot twists. The general consensus has been that Fifty rises far above expectations due to the explicit fact that it has deviated from the normal Nollywood fare. Taking note of EbonyLife’s creed of telling contemporary African stories, the film takes a positive step in changing the biased and often misinformed perceptions of Africa, not to mention the lukewarm reception to our film industries.
Fifty had a record-breaking opening in cinemas across Nigeria in early December. For the rest of the world, the film is available to stream on Netflix as of December 29th, 2015.