Stephanie Linus, Liz Benson, Darwin Shaw, Rahama Hassan, Hauwa Maina, Norma Izon, Tijani Faraga, Zubaida Ibrahim Fagge, Hakeem Rahman, Olu Jacobs, Reykia Attah,
The movie follows a trail of Zara’s (played by Stephanie Linus) trip to Africa, her constant turmoil as a result of inexplicable horrors from her childhood, her experiences and heartaches while working with young girls suffering from complications from early child birth as child brides, against the backdrop of a rich African culture. It is full of intrigue, suspense, unbelievable surprises, the joy of reconciliation and the power of the human spirit that will captivate and engage movie enthusiasts
"He didn't beat you. I'm sure that's his own way to show you how much he loves you"
The message and the presentation
Dry is a movie that exposes a harsh reality of many African communities, many Nigerian communities and especially many Northern communities. It follows one of the main issues from the child bride line which is vesicovaginal fistula. It more often happens after a child has a child and especially when labor is done outside a medical facility. The most common presentation is loss of control of urine and you see patients with this having continuous leakage amongst other issues.
The story is presented from two angles that eventually merge. At first we have a successful Nigerian doctor in Wales, Dr. Zara, who clearly has a dark history associated with her youth in Nigeria and has difficulty facing it. On the other hand we have a 13 year old Halima, who is playing (for what appears to be the last time) in her father’s yard in Northern Nigeria. On the side of the screen, her father is shown discussing with an elderly gentleman about his future union with his 13 year old daughter.
Both stories move forward at the same time as meet Dr. Zara’s adopted mother who met her during mission work in Nigeria (which for some reason everyone has decided to refer to as “Africa”… way to perpetuate ignorance), and who is currently preparing for another trip. Zara comes to realize that her daughter, whom she thought was long dead, might still be alive. So in the most hurried sequence you’ve probably ever seen. Zara leaves a note for her loved one, hops on a plane and lands in Nigeria.
The hardest thing about watching this movie is the harsh realities it puts right in front of your face. It makes you appreciative of your life but also makes us realize that this is happening in our backyard. It does a great job of highlighting the issues without sounding too preachy.
In fact, the entire movie scathes along (all 100 minutes of it) while retaining its story factor until the last scene set in the senate. In that one scene, it all becomes a documentary as Zara’s character preachily dictates to the viewers what should be gained from the experience of watching this movie instead of allowing it to be organic. Ironically, this was one of the movies that almost made it without preaching and yet managing to infuse its message.
The beginning scenes of the movie are set in Wales and if you follow NR then you know my feelings about African movies set in the west. They almost always, without fail, have a lower quality of production in the western scenes. It’s almost as if there are two different directors for those and we’ll just settle with whatever we can get in the western scenes. Dry manages to make it through without seeming too chopped up in the scenes set in Wales. The settings were appropriate and all the scenes were adequately used to advance the storyline.
The real gem of this movie is Halima’s storyline and in retrospect, it does not make up enough of the movie. I assume there were a lot of tears at the end of this movie (if the comment section on irokotv is anything to go by), but the same wasn’t the case for me. The storyline all together was simply sufficient. The beginning is rushed at some points and the end is rushed at some points but the middle, where I believed we should have focused more on Halima’s storyline, did not get the amount of attention it deserved.
However, at the end of the movie the message is relayed with beautiful cinematography and picture with performances from skilled actors.