The film, When Love Hurts, which showed for the second time at the Cityplex 12, Newark, New Jersey, United States of America (USA) on Saturday, December 10, 2022, left all those who were seeing it for the first time overwhelmed, and those who had seen it before were panting for an encore.
With Nigerian American, U.S Army veteran, Patience ‘Ovo Okhuofu as the Writer/Director/Producer/Executive Producer, and Canada-based Isoken Ibie as Executive Producer/Producer, the suspense-filled film that stars mostly Diaspora Nigerian actors and actresses, with the legendary actress, now late Rachel Oniga playing a significant role in it, has several very important themes and sub-themes, addressing many very critical social concerns.
The most prominent of the concerns raised by the flawlessly produced film are the fall outs of migration, especially its consequences for family cohesion, the long-lasting negative effects of abuse, the often-neglected problems of depression and mental illness and, indeed, what some husbands go through in the hands of some better placed wives, especially in the western world.
Introduced as “A story about love, migration, abuse and mental health,” the lead female actress, University of Benin trained Theater Arts graduate, Titi Edo Louis, and the lead male actor, Nosa Agbonifo Obaseki put up superlative performances that would challenge the best actors and actresses in Hollywood.
The different scenes of the movie, shot in Nigeria, Florida and Canada are so lifelike and engaging that the promise that “this movie will keep you on the edge of your seat!” is, truly fulfilled.
There was a one-hour Red Carpet before the screening commenced and an animated Question and Answer session at the end of the action-soaked film during which time commentators pointed out some lessons that must be learnt from the movie.
Among them are the lesson of patience that must be learnt by husbands; the lessons that must be learnt by parents who leave their children in the care of relatives in Nigeria or elsewhere to go in pursuit of greener pastures; lessons concerning the consequences of covering up of rape or other forms of abuse based on filial or other such sentiments; lessons concerning proper appreciation and treatment of mental health issues and lessons concerning the importance of efficient healthcare services, which are largely lacking in most developing countries like Nigeria.
When Love Hurts makes it clear that time does not heal all wounds, that mental health issues are real and that wherever such conditions are suspected, they must not be covered up but must be frontally addressed before they sometimes result in irreversible tragedies.
The film has all the ingredients of well written, perfectly directed and properly produced movies, like excellent dialogue, including scenes where miming is deployed, flashbacks, use of local languages, including the popular Nigerian pidgin English.
All of those who spoke gave the film excellent ratings and called on Nigerians and Africans to rise up to support such great efforts being made by Nigerians and African writers, Directors, Producers, Actors and Actresses to tell the African story in the Western world from the African point of view, stressing that “nobody else can tell our stories better than we can.” They ask that such support should be in form of direct funding of the production and promotion of these movies by individuals, institutions, banks, Diaspora organisations and home governments, as well as mass turn out for the screening of well-made films such as When Love Hurts.
Fortunately, Patience Okhuofu, supported by her husband, Dan Okhuofu at the event, assured that they are going to take When Love Hurts on tour of major cities of the United States of America, Canada and other Western nations.
Already, she said, arrangements are being made to take the groundbreaking film on tour of New York, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta and the United Kingdom in the Spring of 2023. She said, however, that they are seeking funding for the screenings and promotion of the beautiful movie as well as for the production of an Epic movie, titled “Queen Idia – Wife, Mother, Warrior” which they are hoping to shoot next year.
Among the many patriots and movie lovers who turned out for the screening of When Love Hurts were Dr. Nelson Aluya, National President of Nigerian American Public Affairs Committee (NAPAC), the New Jersey chapter President of NAPAC, Dr. Uchenna Onyeani and prominent members of the Committee in New Jersey. Also present were Dr. Femi Adegbomire, Publicity Secretary of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), New Jersey chapter and Ahmed Ahmed of the US Department of Transportation (DOT).
Overall, it was a memorable evening with the promise of more of such exciting moments when Nigerians, Africans and all lovers of good movies can go to the theaters in major cities of the western world to savour films like When Love Hurts that tell their stories in the language they understand.
Pictures here show some of the personalities that graced the screening.