Rotimi Adelola, who is the producer of the award-winning movie, The New Patriots, said, “Movies can influence society in both positive and negative ways. They can inspire individuals, and expand knowledge and perspective.

Movies can also induce bad habits and behaviours. For example, the American movie, Green Book, focused on racism and was able to show that people of different races could bond when they spent time listening, talking and living with one another. Another American film, All the President’s Men, told the story of how two reporters from the Washington Post investigated the Watergate Scandal. The movie was so inspiring that many people enrolled to become journalists after watching the movie.

“In the same vein, many youths will change the way they relate with career politicians after watching The New Patriots. Also, many politicians will change their attitudes, values and electioneering behaviour after watching the movie.

“The June 12, 1993 presidential election has been described as a watershed in the history of elections in Nigeria because there were no cases of manipulation of youths by career politicians to commit electoral crimes as we have it today.”

Adelola, who holds a PhD in Psychology from the University of Ibadan, also stated that in a country like Nigeria with endemic poverty, a breakdown in communication between the government and the people was inevitable. He said, “In any society where endemic poverty is prevalent, there would be an underlying breakdown of communication between the government and the masses. This was the case in the Republic of Aruguna where The New Patriots was set. As a result of the breakdown in communication, the youths, which represented 70 per cent of the population, became restive and resorted to self-help. This is similar to the current situation in Nigeria.”

The filmmaker also disagreed with those who said that Nigerian films were devoid of messages. He added, “Not all Nigerian movies are barren of meaningful messages. There are some world-class Nigerian movies such as Dazzling Mirage by Tunde Kelani, Oloture by Mo Abudu and Citation by Kunle Afolayan. However, some Nigerian movies have induced nefarious habits and behaviours by focusing unduly on societal ills such as money rituals, prostituting-for-wealth and mindless violence.”

Recalling what stirred his interest in filmmaking, Adelola said, “My interest in filmmaking had been deep seated in my subconscious since I was a teenager. It also got expression when l was expected to be on retirement, having worked at very senior management positions across both the private and public sectors between 1982 and 2017. Be that as it may, my preoccupation now is to deploy audio-visual story telling as a catalyst for social change.”