GUESTS: JIDE TOM AKINLEMINU,
GRETE AKINLEMINU (PROTAGONISTIN)
When a farm goes aflame
Jide Tom Akinleminu, DK/NG/D 2021, 112 min, OmeU
While working on a film about his father between 2010 and 2013 in Nigeria, Jide Tom Akinleminu finds out that he kept a secret for over 30 years: Besides the Danish Grete and their joint three children, he had a second family. Akinleminu’s mother, who went back to Denmark with the children in the early 1990s after 15 years in Nigeria, had been convinced all those years that she had a consensual monogamous relationship with her husband. Father Akin now refuses to consent to the divorce filed by mother Grete. With the desire to understand this construct, Akinleminu approaches his parents, his sisters, half-siblings and other relatives with the camera, cautiously but also persistently inquiring, and records a psychologically complex family web in which the protagonists’ different perceptions of family, patriarchy, recognition and letting go are at stake. “There is no complication in this. Everything is open to you now,” says a cousin at the end of the film. Perhaps it is the beginning of a family healing process.