The North Cries (film)
|The North Cries|
Worldwide theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Chioma Asiegbu|
|Written by||Chioma Asiegbu|
|Screenplay by||Robert Gandu|
|Produced by||Chioma Asiegbu|
|Edited by||Eze Adeola|
|Music by||D.E.J. Michaelson|
|Distributed by||North Bahia Film Company|
The North Cries is a 2022 Tiwuran drama film, directed by Chioma Asiegbu. The film stars Thomas Akabueze, Cherry Nbasi, and Jean Fallon giving three different perspectives of the 1992 Gundaya Massacres during the Second Tiwuran Civil War. The film takes on themes about genocide, CN peacekeeping, and racism in Tiwura and its culmination in 1992.
The film is set to debut at the 83rd Montecara Film Festival on October 24th, 2022 and release globally on November 30th.
The film begins with the arrival of Paretian CN peacekeepers into Ponulo. One of the commanders, Lt. Bernat Vazquez, writes down in his journal his feeling about his deployment, where he remarks about his disdain for the people there. Meanwhile, in Dooshiminya, TAF soldier Pvt. Ejike Nwankwo's unit recieves orders to be redeployed to Isowo City. After a brief fire-fight with rebel forces, Ejike and his squad get into a truck and drive towards Isowo. Elsewhere, in Gundayaland, mother Yewande Rotimi is preparing food for her children. She recieves word that her husband, a GPF rebel, was killed in Isowo. She refrains from bringing news to her eldest son, Amos, fearing he would join the rebellion to avenge his father's death.
Returning to Vazquez, the peacekeeping mission moves to assist the already-deployed Padarathan peacekeeping forces at a CN refugee camp south of Isowo. The other CH commander would tell Vazquez that the TAF was not allowing them to look for refugees north of the river, which leads Vazquez into a heated argument with the TAF commanders and is forced to keep him and foreign volunteers back at the CN headquarters. In Isowo, Ejike finds that thousands of soldiers have been deployed into Isowo. TAF General Hilton Akwaugo delivers a speech to the soldiers, declaring "We will move into their cities, and strike back with such power that when the north cries, all of Bahia will hear and listen and know that Tiwura will win by all means necessary". Meanwhile, Rotimi finds hundreds fleeing through Ogbaopuona. She asks what is happening to one of the women, where she is told that the TAF is launching an offensive, and they are slaughtering civilians now. Rotimi, fearing for her family, leaves the city in an attempt to reach Odokekere, the rebel center. Her son, Amos, begins questioning what she said about her father after finding out his unit was in Isowo.
The next scene is on the road to Ogbaopuona, where Ejike's unit is on a transport truck on their way to the Koriko Province. Ejike begins hearing screams as what he feared became true, followed by him pulling out a picture of his lover, a Gundaya woman from Odokekere. He is interrupted by Sgt. Unwe who takes the picture and asks where she is from, when Ejike lies and tells him Isi Eze. Unwe, hearing the worry in his voice, interrogates him in front of his squad about her. This is ended when the trucks stop at their destination. Elsewhere, Lt. Vazquez writes a new journal entry, scolding the TAF for their refusal to cooperate and also the Tiwuran people. Vazquez is interrupted when the TAF general tells him that they would like the CN peacekeepers to bring any refugees from the offensive to the camp in Isowo, to which Vazquez agrees and his platoon is sent with TAF forces to Koriko. Meanwhile, in Koriko, Amos comes to find out his father's unit was wiped out by a rebel soldier on the run. He confronts Yewande, who tells him it was for his own protection. Amos, angered, flees back to Ogbaopuona. Yewande, not wanting to lose her son, goes to find him, leaving her 10 year old daughter with her cousin near Odokekere.
The next scene follows Ejike as he enters Ogbaopuona. Sgt. Unwe, thinking Ejike is hiding something, orders him to clear the next house of anyone he finds. The tells him that their mission isn't just to defeat the current rebels, but the rebels of tomorrow. Ejike, unwilling to betray his unit, goes into the house to find an old man. Unwe follows him in, and after seeing Ejike refuse, shoots the man and scolds Ejike again. Ejike reveals that he was in love with a Gundaya woman before the war, to which Unwe tells him that he can not do so, and that the Gundaya are the problem in a free Tiwura. Unwe relents, but tells him that he must not disobey any more orders if we wants to keep his life. In the next scene, the CN peacekeepers arrive into the city to find devastation. Unable to intervene, Vazquez begins to breakdown as he realized what he was told to do. One of Vazquez's men, Pfc. Gabriel Cardoso, tries to intervene. This leads to a spat between TAF and CN soldiers, where Cardoso is ordered to stand down and stay in the truck. Vazquez and the rest begin to round up civilians and put them onto transport trucks. The scene then cuts to Yewande, who is searching through the city for Amos. She finds him, but he refuses to go back, now armed with a rifle. He is then shot after engaging TAF soldiers, who are revealed to be Unwe and Ejike's squad.
The CN peacekeepers arrive on the same street, where Vazquez witnesses the following. Unwe, testing Ejike's loyalty, orders him to shoot Yewande. Ejike tells him that she reminds him of his lover, Mariam. Unwe, fed up, shoots Ejike. He takes Yewande and puts her on the transportation trucks to Isowo, where Vazquez realizes he is powerless to stop what happens. The film ends with Vazquez's final journal entry in Tiwura, where he expresses his guilt over his powerlessness and his inability to stop the devastation around him, as well as his admiration for "that nameless soldier". The movie would finish as Vazquez leaves Tiwura a year later, after the rebels had retaken Isowo. He writes "I thank God for men like the nameless soldier. Despite the evil that pressures him, he used his final moments to spare an innocent life". This is followed by Yewande waving from the camp after it was liberated by the rebels.
- Thomas Akabueze as Pvt. Ejike Nwankwo
- Cherry Nbasi as Yewande Rotimi
- Jean Fallon as Lt. Bernat Vazquez
- Zebenjo Ozioma as Amos Rotimi
- Dada Lasisi as Felicity Rotimi
- Eche Urunwa as Sgt. Felix Unwe
- Jose Dominguez as Pfc. Gabriel Cardoso