In Review: The Supreme Price

by Maryann O'Connor on 17/03/2015

The Supreme Price

The Supreme Price focuses on two themes, the treatment of women in Nigeria and the seemingly endemic corruption which has blighted the country for decades, showing how these two subjects are intricately linked. No sooner had Nigeria loosened the bonds of colonial rule when the military took over and the country suffered an endless round of dictators. A brief glimpse of hope in 1993 permitted an election which MKO Abiola won emphatically for his party, having relied heavily on the assistance and shrewd mind of Kudirat Abiola, his wife. Their story of imprisonment and assassination in search of democracy is told by daughter Hafsat Abiola, with occasional comment from her brothers and sister. Hafsat has now taken on the legacy of her mother’s work, her desire for democracy and urge to level the playing field for women, to allow them to stand up and make a difference.

The Supreme Price pulls no punches with regards to the dangerous hands-off approach employed by many countries in the international community, blinded to the fate of the Nigerian people by the smooth, rich promise of its plentiful oil supplies. Plenty of condemnation but no practical action. Kudirat Abiola is shown in her attempts to challenge this inaction from within Nigeria, fighting for democracy in every way possible including encouraging oil workers to go on strike, while her husband, the elected ruler of the country, sat in prison.

The other battle, Hafsat’s battle for true democracy through empowering women, is smartly illustrated in the words of her brothers, their statements about their mother’s and sister’s struggle is punctuated by thinly veiled opinions on what a woman, or mother, should or should not be doing.

It is an extremely personal account of the impact of this life on Hafsat Abiola and gives us a human focus on Nigeria’s struggle to attain a way past the corruption. Director Joanna Lipper has captured the essence of the struggle without labouring the point, emphasising the power of action from women and the consequence of inaction.

The Supreme Price + Q&A with director Joanna Lipper, the ICA, 17th March

Maryann has awarded The Supreme Price four Torches of Truth

four torches


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