Citation follows the story of Moremi, a postgraduate student who accuses her lecturer of demanding sex for grades and is now facing the student disciplinary committee in a bid to prove her claims are real.
Right off the bat, the movie poses a moral question by introducing us to the major problem of sensitive topics like this. The problem of “how does one handle this and which way is going too far?” It goes on to portray a scenario in which the sexually assaulted victim does almost everything right (in a way) but still ends up losing everything she’d worked for.
The story, for me, is the major selling point of the movie. It is a culturally relevant, powerful, and well-detailed story that has an indescribable force behind it, which compels you to watch and soak yourself in every scene.
Majority of the cast members like Joke Silva, Ini Edo, Gabriel Afolayan, etc., are stellar performers so talking about how they bodied their roles feels unnecessary, so I’ll focus on the newcomer.
I admit that I was initially scared of Temi being cast in the lead role since she doesn’t really have any acting experience, but it worked fine. Somehow, her inexperience actually contributed to making her portray Moremi in a more believable manner; a brilliant student who knows better but her level of naivety eclipses them both.
Not many filmmakers have managed to capture sceneries the way Kunle Afolayan has done over the ages and I didn’t expect anything less in this movie. In fact, he dialled it up to 100 this time around and I found myself wanting to visit OAU, Cape Verde, Senegal and all the other locations he shot at.
Citation was beautiful, colourful, and enticing, which perfectly masked the dark undertone of the movie until it sneaks up on you again and you remember that “Oh! I am actually watching a movie that deals with sexual harassment, rape, and emotional blackmail.”
It was like a play on life and humanity. You bask in the rosy moments so much, you enjoy the flexing, nature and all its beauty while being totally oblivious to the darkness beneath until it sneaks up on you and tries to swallow everything you’ve worked for.
Is Citation worth watching? Yes, I highly recommend it. It’s enjoyable, culturally/morally important, and the kind of movie that will always be relevant as long as the dark side of humanity/education exists.