If the title of this post has you confused, I wouldn’t blame you at all. You may not have heard of The Milkmaid movie before now and it is totally understandable because it’s not your fault.
It’s the National Film and Video Censors Board’s fault.
The Milkmaid is a more or less a dramatised story of two sisters who get caught up in the militant insurgency/terrorism in the rural Northern part of Nigeria.
Firstly, note that the above plot is more or less an oversimplification of the story. Secondly, I watched The Milkmaid yesterday and while I will do a review of the movie in a separate post, this post is basically telling you why NFVCB doesn’t want you to get to watch this amazing movie.
NFVCB says that they don’t want to give The Milkmaid an official rating (which means the movie can’t be released,) because they are trying to “protect the national interest.”
I laugh because after watching the movie, their reasons do not add up one bit. However, the two reasons below do.
The story is a disturbing truth they do not want to face.
The Milkmaid is basically a telling of the actions of Boko Haram and Insurgents worldwide and all the things we already know about; like how innocents are getting killed, how young children are trained and brainwashed into becoming suicide bombers with promises of paradise and other pleasures.
Girls getting kidnapped for the purpose of becoming wives/playthings for insurgent members, and then some.
It is a movie that shows the real truth, the same ones that if you had been following newspaper headlines from the time the Chibok Girls were kidnapped, you’d already know.
There are also other societal ills shown like adults marrying underage children, women getting treated even more unjustly in an already unjust system, and the many problems about this country that we talk about daily but the leaders do not want to face and address because powerful people involved in the wrongdoings.
The movie is dramatized but isn’t far from the truth. Honestly, it can even pass off as the actual truth. So I wonder what ‘national interest’ the NFVCB are trying to protect.
The NFVCB is ashamed
Do you know how there are some people who are dirty to a fault? They have plates that have been packed in the kitchen sink for days, rooms scattered, and floors that have not gotten caressed by brooms for weeks, etc.
Then one day, they get an impromptu visitor, who believes they are entering the house of someone who is as posh as they act outside, but instead beholds filthiness in all its dirty glory.
“Society would rather appear to be spotlessly clothed with their reputations intact in their illusionary virginity of body, mind as soul.”
― Tina Sequeira,
The above quote rings true in this situation, but instead of society, it is the NFVCB, because The Milkmaid is a movie that shows the dirtiness and filthiness in Nigeria.
Yet. the Film and Video Censors Board do not want this movie that opens the fowl yansh, to get out there.
If the Milkmaid was released in cinemas as scheduled, I daresay it would have been the movie picked to represent Nollywood at the next Oscars because it checks ALL THE BOXES.
Now, do you think the NFVCB would want such a movie to be given that opportunity?
Would I call them cowards and people who actually have no love for or understanding of the craft and how powerful media is in helping advance positive change? I will leave that up to you the reader.
I will instead end with these questions; will not releasing The Milkmaid to “protect national interest” stop Boko Haram and insurgents from claiming innocent lives, kidnapping young girls to be raped and married off to terrorists, and young boys to be brainwashed into their system?
Is the decision going to stop men old enough to be people’s grandparents marrying underage girls? Will it stop all the plagues in our society? Or will it be an avenue to create even more awareness so solutions can be crafted and executed?
“To say nothing is saying something. You must denounce things you are against or one might believe that you support things you really do not.”
― Germany Kent