Here’s a look at a documentary project we’ve been tracking for about 2 years, titled “The Supreme Price” – a USA/Nigeria production from director Joanna Lipper, about the pro-democracy movement in Nigeria and efforts to increase the participation of women in leadership roles – which is scheduled to screen at the ongoing traveling Human Rights Watch Film Festival, which is currently parked in Chicago, until the 22nd of this month.
Here’s the longer story:
The Supreme Price tells the story of Hafsat Abiola — a daughter determined to realize her parents’ dreams of alleviating poverty and bringing democracy to Nigeria. In 1993, while Hafsat studied at Harvard, her father, M.K.O Abiola, was elected President of Nigeria. The military annulled the election results and seized power. Hafsat’s father became a renowned prisoner of conscience and in response, Hafsat’s mother, Kudirat, assumed leadership of Nigeria’s pro-democracy movement, demanded that the US embargo Nigerian oil and spoke out against the military dictatorship, actions which led to her assassination. As Nigeria transitions to civilian rule, Hafsat, now a human rights activist and social entrepreneur, faces the challenge of transforming a dysfunctional, fraudulent culture of political leadership into a legitimate democracy capable of serving Nigeria’s most marginalized population: women.
As someone whose father sought presidency in Cameroon (Nigeria’s immediate neighbor) roughly 22 years ago, with similar goals of bridging the wealth gap and bringing democracy to that country, and who paid a somewhat similar price, this is obviously a subject of genuine interest to me.
The photo above is of Hafsat Abiola, by the way.
“The Supreme Price” was made with support from organizations like The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation/Just Films, ITVS, the Tribeca Gucci Spotlighting Women Documentary Award, Chicken & Egg Pictures, Women Make Movies and IFP Spotlight on Documentaries.
It’s currently touring the film festival circuit, and will next screen at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in New York, this Thursday, June 19th, at 9:15 PM at Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater. The screening will be followed by a discussion with filmmaker Joanna Lipper, as well as the film’s subject, Hafsat Abiola, moderated by Rona Peligal, Deputy Director, African Division, Human Rights Watch.
Director Lipper released an extended (10-minute) trailer for the film, which was commissioned by Gucci to launch their global Chime for Change Campaign at TED 2013.
Watch below for a glimpse at what to expect: