Never has the ascendancy of gender equality been more of a necessity than in a pro democratic Nigeria. Blood has been spilt, a nation’s government has been ruptured and rebuilt, its people elated from tyranny. When reviewing any piece of fiction I’ve never been one for the spy/thriller/conspiracy theorem genres which is a category this documentary could very well fall into if fictionalised. Yet if this was a fictional piece, the ingredients are already in place for a righteous victory, so why does it feel the battle has only been half won?
The Supreme Price’s focus centres our attention around the evolution of women in leadership roles within Nigeria’s government. The progressive battle against the bovine/ignorant mentality of people and the injustices/oppression that have (and are) occurring in Nigeria’s cultural, political and lawful background and the violent opposition that ensues.
Being uneducated in such matters (I am the proverbial sponge…) it would be unwise of me to weigh up The Supreme Price from a factual perspective regarding authenticity, arguments and counter arguments. It would be exercising futility. What I can do is review this documentary in light of the message it attempts to send into the world and the personal impact it has made within the subjective. When you identify with the emotion presented and realise that it isn’t tacked on for melodramatic appearances or even to induce a sympathetic response you realise that these are real people, in their everyday culture, just like you and me, who’ve endured and are still enduring. Nothing ever distracts but rather amplifies the impact of the cause they are fighting for and the situation they try to bring to light.
This is a portrayal of the literal importance of equality told with first-hand accounts of the consequences when that equality is absent. The past fifty plus years of Nigeria’s political standings can be mirrored by today’s capitalistic mentality of the West. Growth and control at the cost of people’s voices, quality of life and freedom. If a study of history can give us anything it’s that we have the ability to look backward and see where we went wrong and how to change for the better. It’s all been wrapped up in a neat seventy five minute package for you and delivered with only the integral truth of the matter.
Regardless of race, gender, sexual preference or social status we are all inhabitants of this world and no provincial line truly divides us as a species, only our mentality. What The Supreme Price does is bring an issue into mainstream view and opens your eyes to the injustices, forces you to give a damn and view your way of life differently. To help the fight against gender-based discrimination, violence and rights it is important to view this documentary, for without the brave voices speaking out and the sharp documentarian passion of Joanna Lipper, woman’s equality and so many other issues that halt our societal evolution would lay just that little more dormant in those ever darkening shadows.
The Supreme Price is an unwavering and courageous statement and leaves the decision for action in the hands of the viewer, albeit even by viewing this documentary you are broadening your understanding and awareness (even if only on a subconscious level) of human mechanics and societal evolution. Don’t be afraid to bring it to light just because it isn’t happening to you on a personal level, if you have any form of compassion for your fellow being then it is enough to bring awareness to a cause higher than yourself, so that you can look back in your own history one day and prevent the perseveration of organic disorder.
Verdict: Spread the word, strengthen your resolve!
Dir: Joanna Lipper
Scr: Joanna Lipper
Featuring: Hafsat Abiola
Prd: Joanna Lipper
DOP: Joanna Lipper, Lisa Rinzler, Richard Sands
Music: Sarah Lipstate
Run time: 75 mins
The Supreme Price is showing in select cinemas now.