“October 1” is a Nigerian psychological thriller film released in 2014. It was written by Tunde Babalola, produced and directed by Kunle Afolayan, and features a talented cast including Sadiq Daba, Kayode Olaiya, and Demola Adedoyin. The film is set in the last months of Colonial Nigeria in 1960, just before Nigeria gained independence from British colonial rule. It explores a variety of themes, including the sexual abuse of children by religious authority figures, religious and ethnic conflict, politics in Colonial Nigeria, and Nigeria’s unification and independence.
Plot: The story of “October 1” follows Inspector Danladi Waziri, played by Sadiq Daba, a police officer from Northern Nigeria. He is tasked with investigating a series of gruesome killings of young women in the remote Western Nigeria village of Akote. These murders occur just before Nigeria’s independence on October 1, 1960. As Waziri delves deeper into the case, he uncovers a series of dark secrets and conflicts within the village. The film combines elements of mystery, suspense, and psychological drama as it unfolds.
- Sadiq Daba as Inspector Danladi Waziri
- Kayode Aderupoko as Inspector Sunday Afonja
- Demola Adedoyin as Prince Aderopo
- Kehinde Bankole as Miss Tawa
- Kunle Afolayan as Agbekoya
- Fabian Adeoye Lojede as Corporal Omolodun
- Kanayo O. Kanayo as Okafor
- Ibrahim Chatta as Sumonu
- Bimbo Manuel as Canon Kuforiji
- Femi Adebayo as Banji
- Abiodun Aleja as Olaitan
- Nick Rhys as Winterbottom
- Deola Sagoe as Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti
- David Bailie as Ackerman
- Colin David Reese as Reverend Dowling
- Lawrence Stubbings as Tomkins
- Ifayemi Elebuibon as Baba Ifa
- Meg Otanwa as Yejide
Production: The film was shot in various locations, including Lagos, Ilara-Mokin, Akure, and neighboring villages. It features period costumes, props, and a keen attention to detail to recreate the atmosphere of 1960s Nigeria. The production had a budget of US$2 million, with funding from governmental and corporate entities, including the Lagos State Government, Toyota Nigeria, Guinness, and others.
Themes: “October 1” tackles several important themes, including the impact of colonial rule, ethnic and religious tensions, and the struggle for independence. It explores how these factors contribute to a complex web of conflicts and secrets within the village of Akote. The film’s portrayal of colonialism and its effects on the characters and their relationships serves as a metaphor for Nigeria’s broader history and challenges.
Release and Reception: The film received positive reviews from critics, who praised its cinematography, production design, writing, and acting. It premiered in Lagos in 2014 and was subsequently screened at various international film festivals. “October 1” won several awards, including Best Feature Film and Best Screenplay at the 2014 Africa International Film Festival.
The film’s success also extended to box office earnings, with estimated gross earnings of over ₦100 million in its first six months of release. It was made available on Netflix, further expanding its reach to a global audience.
“October 1” is a significant film in Nigerian cinema, offering a compelling blend of historical drama, mystery, and social commentary that resonated with both local and international audiences.