Ahoemoe-egbe (A Documentary On Love)
|“Love is important.”, an excerpt from Ahoemoe-egbe|
In a land where women are considered last when it comes to decision-making in the home, Dandelion Eghosa, Olubambi (Imagery) Oresanya and Olabisi Olaleye team up to produce the first installment in a docuseries based on love, what it means and how it is viewed from the very women who come from a generation that did not privilege them to choose their own partners. The documentary presents the many ways these women see and express love, and shows how generations of black women have been conditioned to love.
A Documentary On Love
The ongoing-movie is titled Ahoemoe-egbe which translates to “love” in the Esan language. It aims to explore perspectives on the meaning of love to women in rural communities who didn’t have a chance to choose their husbands or break out of toxic marriages to live on their own terms. It’s a collection of voices that are rarely heard. It was important for me that these people explain love in their own language using their own cultural contexts as language is one of the barriers that prevent them from adding to these kinds of conversations. The plan is to broaden the demographic in the nearest future to accommodate those who are evolving in their experiment with love. I felt the need to bring the minds of rural women to the frontlines of the conversation. The title introduces variants of the concept (the difficulty to define it because it doesn’t exist as just one thing), and how their experiences have informed their opinions on what they think they deserve, is explored in the rest of the film.
|“If I love you and you love me..”|
|“If I see you in pain or being crucified, in the name of love, I will run to your rescue.”|
Thus, in a world where women in these parts of the world are rarely heard, the film is necessary and long overdue. It was important to show their opinions on the effects of the strides of feminism in their community. In addition to giving voice to the voiceless, the documentary is also about preserving language and archiving culture. It helps the participants to not only see themselves on camera but to express, understand, and analyze their own thought processes. It simultaneously provides women with similar experiences and in rural communities who get to watch and interact with the film; an opportunity to look to and be represented by a body that looks like them, and experiences what they go through.
|an excerpt from Ahoemoe-egbe|
When all is said and done, love is also about compatibility. When you break down and analyze different relationships, one of the key factors is how compatible two partners are.
So what would love mean to a woman who did not have a chance to choose?
What would love mean to a woman who only knows how to sacrifice herself?
|One of the women, a tailor, interviewed for the documentary. © Olubambi Imagery|
This [installment] of the ongoing-film was shot between the 13th day and 17th day of July 2019 in Emaudo community in Ekpoma, a small town in Edo State, Nigeria, and in the personal homes and places of worship of the subjects. Conducting this interview in their comfort zones was key as the home is the base where everything begins. The docufilm taps into many themes and ideas, which at the surface seem personal, but end up being political points of departure for conversations on love and resistance.
How Well the Goal Has Been Accomplished
What also stands out is that subjects weren’t informed of the project prior to the interviews. Even though it was the first time they had been asked to express the condition of their hearts and what love means to them, their stories were able to interconnect because of the commonality between their experiences, and how generations of black women have been conditioned to love. One of the strong points of the film is how it balances different experiences of this universal topic and contrasts different relationships and representations of love in order to encapsulate as wide of the minority as possible.
Thus, the film adequately creates a wide tapestry of experiences; which gives the film a wider reach in terms of audience but also makes a “short film” filled with valuable content.
The journey continues…
Filmed & Edited by
Olubambi (Imagery) Oresanya
words by Dandelion Eghosa