I was overcome with emotion. I was moved to tears. I sobbed like a baby as I watched in bed. I helplessly felt exactly what was intended to be felt by the creators of Black Rose. I was glued to the spot, the intensely pathetic sceneries, the plight of the oppressed and depressed characters, so that I ignored the instinct to go for a handkerchief.
I wiped my eyes, my face with my blanket instead. I embraced the wet parts afterwards, buried myself in deep thought and heavy empathy with the vulnerable. At the same time, I was miraculously inspired to write again.
One feature strikes me in Black Rose: its oppressed characters are female, and the oppressors are male. The innocence and the deprived background of an effeminate being, stunningly, become the weak points the masculine beings from God knows where exploit mercilessly. The evil manful characters take steps considered ruthless, one after the other, to the detriment and the destruction of her dignity, her pride.
This short description, I must confess, keeps me wishing it remains a figment of the imagination of the entertainment industry. However, my encounter with Black Rose coincides with the rapidly swelling campaign against heavily sensed Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) globally. Thus, the feminist importance of the realistic content of the film deserves recognition.
Briefly, the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, defines SGBV as any act that is perpetrated against a person’s will and is based on gender norms and unequal power relationships. These forms of violence, especially those against the female gender, have been highly criticised in feminist works for centuries.
Besides, the call for a blanket condemnation of same has been terrific in and between international, national, local communities, with the full support of dedicated individuals, activists, organisations and governments in the 21st century.
Gender oppression is continually being portrayed as total, violent between men as villains and women as victims. Worst case scenarios of a perceived gender crisis against women in different parts of the world are regularly being described and displayed. Also, distressing research findings, massive media reports of rising cases and shocking casualty statistics have elicited insightful speeches, passionate debates, decisive campaigns, and strong commitments to end SGBV worldwide.
Consequently, a film like Black Rose stimulates every girl, every woman to wonder whether indeed all that have been expressed in a negative light in words and action about gender abuse are true, and to what extent they are. If they are confirmed true and their frequency ascertained, the feminine set is bound to develop anxiety, feelings of insecurity and panic at the thought or the sight or the gestures of men, a trend which threatens, undermines the wellness, wholeness of the companionship of both sexes and the beatitude of heterosexuality.
The needs to tackle these fears, prevent possible risks, eliminate identified jeopardies, and create a safer world for women lie at the heart of the struggle to stop SGBV, and seek the patronage of everyone, irrespective of gender, class, or position.
Set in Southeast Nigeria and released in 2018, Black Rose is written by Beth Rogers, directed, and produced by Okey Oku. The film stars great actors, including Ebele Okaro, Blossom Chukwujeku, Lilian Echelon, Betty Bellor, and Swanky J.K.A.
A date with Black Rose is a necessity for both enthusiasts and would-be enthusiasts of the promotion of women rights, especially in a contemporary developing country where many girls and young women are poor, naive, and therefore awfully susceptible.
Guess what! My penultimate write-up was titled I am a Wakandan. I am a Wakandan because, so far, Wakanda is a place with zero incidence of gender-based violence against women. It is an ideal place for women to live in. The leadership role played by late Hollywood actor, Chadwick Boseman as King T’Challa and Black Panther, after who the Marvel Studios film is named, contributes extraordinarily to the idealness of the country.
It is exceptionally radical and will sway posterity beautifully always. So, may the significance of his memory remain evergreen in the heart of everyone who appreciates leaders that respect the rights of women in practice. Such leaders serve as shining examples to followers. Rest in perfect peace, Chadwick Boseman.
In all, SGBV is a monster with many ugly faces. SGBV is the “Thanos” of our time and mostly terrorises feminine targets.
The war against SGBV must be won to curb the exploitation of womanhood and guarantee, specifically, the respect of women’s rights by everyone everywhere.
Let both sexes join forces to fight and stop this “Thanos” before he snaps his fingers, and women will be safe, happy, productive, and assets to humanity.