Bigger than Africa is a documentary directed by Nigerian filmmaker Toyin Ibrahim Adekeye. It delves into how the Yoruba culture of West Africa overcame and transcended slavery in ways that were unimaginable at the time, surviving in the New World to this day. It’s a work that takes you on a voyage through six countries: Brazil, the United States of America, Cuba, Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago, and Benin.
Bigger than Africa documentary
The cultural documentary features famous Yoruba icons, including the late Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Adeyemi, according to Adekeye’s Motherland Productions USA statement.
The Ooni of Ife, the Alaketu of Ketu, and the King of Port Novo are among the other traditional leaders featured in the film.
The film also features ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, Wole Soyinka, Wande Abimbola, Nike Okundaye, Fayemi Elebuibon, and Femi Kuti, among others.
The well-researched documentary would also illustrate the historical importance of Yoruba culture and how it transcends countries and links the Black diaspora.
Bigger Than Africa depicts the journey of enslaved Africans through the prism of West African Yoruba culture, according to Mr Adekeye.
This historical documentary, he stated, would focus on six countries: Brazil, Cuba, Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago, Benin, and the United States of America.
He claimed that when slave ships docked in North America, Brazil, and the Caribbean, they brought with them hundreds of civilizations, traditions, and religions. The Yoruba culture transcended slavery in ways that no one could have imagined, and it has survived to this day in the modern world. He also expressed his hope that the film will serve as a unifying force for all persons of African descent, regardless of their country of origin.
He also referred to the film as a necessary legacy for Yoruba culture. The film is distributed by KAP films and the EGMNY management agency.
Bigger than Africa cast
The documentary film has 44 cast members on board. Some of the cast are:
- Gary Shaw as voice
- Iyanifa Ajisebo Abimbola as self
- Wande Abimbola as self
- Olori Adaramola as self
- Akin Alao as self
- Avery Ammon as self
- Adewale Ayuba as self
- Fabio Batista as self
- Nike Davies Okundaye as self
- Keith Diaz as self
- Ifayemi Elebuibon as self
- Paula Gomez as self
- King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal as self
- Chief Olaitan as self
- Wole Soyinka as self
- Ambassador. Carlos Trejo as self
- His Excellency Olusegun Obasanjo as self
- Femi Kuti as self
Bigger than Africa release date
The initial release date of the documentary was February 12, 2018. It was released in the United States of America. It made its debut on Netflix on May 13, 2022.
Bigger than Africa reviews
The documentary received so many positive reviews. It scored a 7/10 on IMDb, and 92% of the people who watched it loved it.
Viewers from outside the country praised the documentary and its director for taking the risk of exposing Africa’s culture and prominent figures to a worldwide audience.
The documentary also had some negative reviews. A viewer stated that it “bills itself as a documentary about what has occurred in Africa since colonialism ended. It depicts sadism and teaches that we should not be afraid to see the reality, but sadism is manufactured for the cameras. It weeps for Africa’s killed wild game, but who weeps for the game tortured in front of cameras and in front of our eyes?”
Another stated that the documentary, of course, was an emotionless examination of Africa’s defeats since independence would not be objectionable. However, one would anticipate a review of its progress. The makers of Mondo Cane, on the other hand, convey no suggestion of anything but calamity in this film. Jacopetti and Prosperi have used a sugary music track, arty imagery, and an authoritative-sounding narration to convey legitimacy to a film that features perversion and brutality as its toll, as they have in their previous documentaries.
Bigger than Africa trailer
The documentary can be downloaded or watched on Netflix. Below is the official trailer for the documentary
Awards and recognition
The director of Bigger than Africa, Toyin Ibrahim Adekeye, has continued to receive praise for the film, which has screened at film festivals around the world and won numerous awards, including the Charlotte Black Film Festival, the AFI World Peace Initiative Cannes, and the Silicon Valley African Film Festival. It was also nominated for the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Documentary.