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The Rhetoric of Return in Kunle Afolayan’s Film October 1

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The popularity of Nollywood movies has established their relevance in cultural studies to interrogating afresh the presumed norms among people of ethno-cultural and racial difference. To this end, film critics have focused their attention on the theme and genre studies of Nollywood movies with a view to relating the issues in the film texts to the often heated sociological debates on coloniality in African socio-cultural and political experiences. Kunle Afolayan’s October 1 contributes to these raging debates through the motif of return (return to self, return of nation, and return to nation) that runs through the film text. This motif of return contributes to the overall film gestalt through characterization and plot. Postcolonial theory is adopted to describe the return motif through the investigation of consciousness, nostalgia, and trauma, as experienced individually or collectively. The theory explains the nature, pattern, and dimensions of adjustment and adaptation of individuals, communities, and the nation to complexity and dynamism of change during colonial encounters and the journey towards political independence on October 1. The kernel of the movie’s argument is that the country’s independence was heralded by hypocrisy, dishonesty, and violence. The movie thus questions the misconceived notion of racial purity by the white racists through their ignoble role in the return process of the country at the attainment of political independence on 1 October 1960.

Affiliations: 1: Osun State University


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