Nollywood may be the heart of the Nigerian film industry, but it's not just local talent that has fallen in love with the vibrant landscapes and rich culture of Nigeria. In recent times, foreign filmmakers have also been drawn to this country to capture its beauty and authenticity on the big screen.
If you're a movie enthusiast and want to explore Nigeria from a different perspective, here's a list of foreign movies that you shouldn’t miss.
Foreign Movies Filmed in Nigeria
Black Is King
Black Is King was written and directed by Beyoncé. This 2020 American musical movie was filmed in Lagos, Nigeria and five other countries. The film received praise for its cinematography and depicts the story of an African prince.
After his father died, the prince was exiled from his kingdom. Later, as he grows into a man, he receives guidance from an ancestor, played by Beyoncé.
NFL fans may be reminded about the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive tackle Prince Tega Wanogho when reading the title of this movie. While watching Wanogho’s journey from Delta State, Nigeria to Alabama might have been fun, this movie from director Faraday Okoro focuses instead on a Nigerian-American teenager sent to Nigeria by his mother.
While there, he joins his cousin, who is operating an online scamming business, to get enough money to fly back to the United States. This movie was filmed in Nigeria and the US.
The Mark of the Hawk
This 1957 American drama film stars Earl Cameron in the lead role. Partially shot on location in Nigeria, it tells the story of the brother of an indigenous resistance leader who gets caught in a hostile environment when African villagers decide to reclaim their land from British colonists.
The Price is a 2017 American drama movie focusing on a young Nigerian-American man struggling with prescription drug dependency. While he has high ambitions, he chooses to follow a criminal path, leading him in the wrong direction.
It was filmed in Nigeria and the United States and received positive reviews from critics after its initial release.
Mister Johnson is said to be the first American movie to be shot on location in Nigeria. Based on the 1939 novel by Irish author Joyce Cary, this movie was released in 1990 and stars Maynard Eziashi as Mr. Johnson.
The film explores the challenges faced by Mr. Johnson due to his African heritage while working for the British.
Foreign Movies that Depict Nigeria But Were Filmed Elsewhere
Tears of the Sun
Tears of the Sun, released in 2003, stars Bruce Willis as a Navy SEAL officer sent to Nigeria on a rescue mission to retrieve an American doctor. She operates a mission hospital, which is located in the Nigerian jungle.
Contrary to expectations, this movie was not filmed in Nigeria. It was mainly shot in Hawaii, with some parts shot in Los Angeles and Virginia. The movie depicts the horrors of war.
Black Panther is an American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character. It debuted in 2018, starring Denzel Washington. Filmed in the United States, it is set in the fictitious African area known as Wakanda.
However, while the location isn't real, several inspirations for the movie were taken from Nigeria. In many scenes, specific text appears on the screen, which is inscribed on walls in a throne room. The text’s script is derived from Nsibidi writing which comes from an area in southeast Nigeria.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a 2009 superhero film that is part of the X-Men film series. Directed by Gavin Hood, the movie serves as a prequel to the X-Men series and explores the backstory of one of its most iconic characters, Wolverine, also known as Logan, played by Hugh Jackman.
Lagos, Nigeria is depicted in the movie's first scenes when Major William Stryker travels to the area. However, it isn't the actual city. The production primarily utilized Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, as a stand-in for Lagos. Additionally, some scenes were shot in New South Wales, Australia.
Captain America: Civil War
Captain America: Civil War is the third instalment in the Captain America film series and a crucial chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The movie explores the complex dynamics within the superhero community and the moral dilemmas that arise when the Avengers are divided over the Sokovia Accords, a government initiative designed to regulate and oversee their activities.
In one of the scenes, the action appears to be happening in a market in Lagos, Nigeria. However, keen viewers will recognize that it was shot elsewhere (apparently in downtown Atlanta and Puerto Rico).
These foreign movies offer a fresh perspective on Nigeria’s diverse culture, history, and landscapes. From intense war dramas to gripping thrillers, poignant historical narratives, and action-packed adventures, each film provides a unique cinematic experience.
Grab some popcorn, immerse yourself in these captivating stories and take a virtual journey through the heart of Africa's most populous nation.