Invasion 1897!!! Its Here
Launcelot Odua Imasuen’s Invasion 1897, a history lesson and would be blockbuster has been talk of movie circles for years now. After his last major epic, Adesuwa failed to find its target audience due to squabbles with the financiers, Imasuen rebounded with 2014’s Invasion 1897, a long heralded chronicle of events leading to the fall of Oba Ovonramwen of the ancient Benin kingdom.
Hailed as sub-Saharan Africa’s last great monarch, the all-powerful Oba Ovonramwen was the remaining obstacle between the British powers and total domination of the African continent. A poorly set up revelatory scene featuring white actors who cannot act forms the basis for the now famous Benin expedition and Imasuen’s film cannot quite recover from this shoddiness.
As a prelude to the events of 1987, there is a very modern plot line set in the United Kingdom where a misguided African history student attempts to steal artefacts from a secure museum. He is apprehended and put on trial. In his defence, he begins a long winded narrative that leads into the Oba Ovonramwen saga. This brief introduction is not particularly well made as overwrought performances compete with terrible writing and poorly trained actors for audience attention.