In his energetic debut Green White Green director Abba Makama used Nigeria’s rich cultural history to ponder youth and identify. Building on those themes, and the raw talent he displayed, Makama’s sophomore feature The Lost Okoroshi is a vibrant and wildly surreal ride.

Haunted by recurring dreams of colorful dancing ancestral spirits known as the Okoroshi masquerade, Raymond Obinwa’s (Seun Ajayi) life is forever changed when he is magically transformed into a purple Okoroshi. No longer able to work as a security guard, or communicate with wife Nneka (Judith Audu), the voiceless creature roams the streets of Lagos in search of a cure. Encountering everyone from prostitutes to a homeless child, Raymond uses the spirit’s unique abilities to help those in need and punish the wicked.

Drenched in mysticism, The Lost Okoroshi’s sinner and saint allegory is one that carries universal appeal. Those not familiar with the masquerade lore will find many similarities with other spiritual teachings. Regardless of one’s faith, Makama’s sharp comedic commentary on the state of modern Nigeria resonates.

The Lost Okoroshi’s dreamlike imagery, immense wit and stunning costumes, effectively capture how out of touch modern Nigeria is with its ancestral roots. The country’s spiritual soul has been overshadowed by obsession with cellphones, western medicine and wealth. Even those fighting to preserve the teachings of the past have been corrupted by their lust for power. While the mixture of comedy and drama does not always blend together smoothly, The Lost Okoroshi is an enchanting film that solidifies Makama as a unique cinematic voice.

Screens
Friday, September 6, Scotiabank, 9 PM
Sunday, September 8, Scotiabank, 9:45 PM
Sunday, September 15, Scotiabank, 6:45 PM

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