Owing to the stigma our culture places around sex, Nigerians often live in denial of sexual activity amongst young people. Sex education is basically a myth in our country, and one of the many unfortunate repercussions of that is the high incidence of teenage pregnancy.
Emeka Chukwuleta takes on the challenge of approaching this taboo subject, and does justice to it through his provocative short film, Mercy. Based on a true story, Mercy narrates the story of a young girl who gets pregnant, following her and her family throughout her journey.
Although the topic is unorthodox, the short film’s style is familiar. Reminiscent of old Hollywood dramas, Chukwuleta adopts a rather rustic style of directing, intentionally shooting with poor lighting and obscure angles.
The dingy effect we gain from Chukwuleta’s style mirrors the situation of the poor and despairing family he is capturing. It’s also fitting with the sombre mood of the film, which touches on sexual violence, abortion, teenage motherhood and the impediments poverty adds to all of that.
From start to finish Mercy is an emotional film, however, the happy ending is particularly poignant. Mercy vows to change her life and protect her new baby from the violence she encountered in her young age. Hopefully, this a message that will bear fruit within our society.
Watch the short film below:[embedded content]
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