Title of the work
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Sacrifice of Hope: Part I and II. Directed by Nonso Ekene Okonkwo. Produced by Gabriel Okey Okonkwo , 2014.
Magic realist fiction
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Author of the Entry:
Neele-Frederik Mundt, University of Landau, firstname.lastname@example.org
Divine Che Neba, University of Yaoundé 1, email@example.com
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Daniel A. Nkemleke, University of Yaoundé 1, firstname.lastname@example.org
Eleanor Anneh Dasi, University of Yaounde 1, Wandasi5@yahoo.com
Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, email@example.com
Gabriel Okey Okonkwo (Producer)
Nonso Ekene Okonkwo (Director)
Nonso Ekene Okonkwo is a native of Igbo and currently lives in Lagos, Nigeria. He studied literature in the University of Nsuka, Nigeria and began a career as film writer, film director and film producer. He was formally the CEO of Gold Fish Production Company.
IMDb (accessed: August 4, 2021).
Bio prepared by Epie Dione Audrey, ENS, University of Yaoundé 1, firstname.lastname@example.org and Brindy Belinga Claude, University of Yaoundé 1, email@example.com
Ken Erics, Chika Ike, Ngozi Ezeonu, Obi Okoli, Camilla Mberekpe, Harry B, Geraldine Obi, Ifeoma (the representative of Amadioha, the god of the Buchi village), Prince Obinna (the representative of Oshimilli, the goddess of the Okuoha village).
The movie Sacrifice of Hope is a sequel of the Nigerian movie Sacrifice of Tears. This sequel of the movie Sacrifice of Tears begins with Ifeoma’s father (Mazi Uche) crying and cursing at Amadioha, the god of Buchi for afflicting strange illnesses and happenings on the land and especially on his wife Ebele (Ifeoma’s mother). He cries in confusion and decides to seek answers from a renowned chief priest Agogho in Omabra village, a faraway land. His daughter Ifeoma cries and tries to stop him but he refuses to listen to her, and insists on under taking this dangerous journey to the unknown.
The next scene opens with Prince Obinna and Igwe (King of Okuoha Village) pondering over the calamities that have equally befallen their land. There is severe drought and famine in the land and people are dying of hunger. Then the Igwe decides to send two elders of the land to the Omabra village to meet Agogho, the chief priest, for answers and possible solutions to their problems.
These elders set out for their journey to the unknown land. One of them is afraid because of the stories and myths which he had heard about their predecessors who attempted this particular kind of journey before him and his friends. He tells his friend stories relating to spirits that usually attack people travelling on that road. However, his friend mocks him for not being manly enough and bold for the journey which is reflecting the concept of masculinity as a strong and fearless fighter in this particular context. During their conversation about these ancient spirits, they hear a cry coming from an undisclosed location and they begin to run until they meet a spirit which is called the spirit of confusion. This spirit asks them to fight, which they comply until the spirit is satisfied and asks them to continue with their journey. Finally, the journey comes to an end as these elders arrive at Agogho’s shrine. He then reveals to them what they seek to know. Agogho tells them that twenty-two years ago, the god Amadioha and goddess Oshimilli decided to settle their differences and to ensure that they continued to have peace. In order to ensure this peace process, they were compelled to take an oath of blood. On the day of the reconciliation, two babies were given to both villages as representatives of the gods whom at the right time had to complete the pact by spilling their blood together under the great Okwa tree on the boundary of both villages. This oath was to be taken when the time was right by both representatives sent to both villages by their gods. The right time however passed and this oath was not taken which left the pact of peace incomplete. This is the reason for enraging these gods and they struck both villages with calamities and untold sicknesses. This part ends with the Agogho, the chief priest, who informs the elders of the Okuoha village that they experience these particular sicknesses because of the wrath of the gods.
Part two of the movie continues with the elders of the Okuoha village and Agogho, the chief priest, who are consulting the gods for solution to their problem. The gods then ask them to return and complete the oath of peace for final appeasement. The elders are uncertain on how to proceed as they ask the chief priest how they were going to find this representative and how will they recognize them. The chief priest tells them that these representatives have scars like a star which will appear at the back of necks as soon as the sun sets this evening. The visual markings on the body of the representatives is an important feature in order to fulfil the God requests and restore peace. Therefore, he emphasizes that this oath must be completed within three following days.
These elders thank the priest and leave immediately to execute the demands of the gods. On their way back, they meet Mazi Uche and Mazi Okafor who are elders from the Buchi village. They appear to be lost on their way to the Agogho’s shrine and they head back to their village. While in Okuoha, they report to the Igwe what the chief priest has told them and what they are supposed to do to cleanse the land. The message is of utter importance to the Igwe as he directly asks one of his guards to summon all youths of age 22 in the village by night fall to his palace. Meanwhile, Prince Obinna, who sits at the back of the house and sings, starts to feel itches at the back of his neck and calls for his mother, who is called Ne Nkem. She approaches to help him with the itching on his back. It is her who finds the scar on him which leaves her wondering where these might come from and why they might be inflected and itching. The Igwe joins both of them; immediately as he sees the scar, he starts shouting and cursing the gods for choosing his son as the sacrifice for peace. Ne Nkem also expresses her pain and desperation in crying. In her motherly honor, she fights for her son and tris to protect him from being sacrificed for the sake of peace.
Suffering is also evident in the next scene which starts with Ifeoma who is desperately crying. She tells her friend Amaka that she has a bad feeling about her father’s journey because after three days he has failed to returned to their village. Amaka consoles her, and immediately village boys run into their compound to inform them of her father’s arrival to the village. She jumps up and is eager to welcome him. Once home Mazi Uche tells Ifeoma and Amaka about the oath and the scar on the back of the representative. Ifeoma wakes up and shows him her scar at the back of her neck which Amaka had seen the day before. She is the representative that is required to participate in the peace process. Mazi Uche breaks down in tears of desperation and wonders why the gods have chosen his only child to be the representative.
Ifeoma and Prince Obinna are set for the journey despite the fact that their families are in pain. They leave before dawn and meet under the great Okwa tree at the boundary of both villages. These two attempt to stab themselves four times but Ifeoma, who does not have the courage to do so, stops them all the time. As a result, she comes up with this great idea of just mixing their blood by just piecing their fingers and letting their bloods mix. This attempt was successful and both villages immediately see dark clouds covering them. This is an indication that the oath was taken and the pact was completed by the gods. The lands of Buchi and Okuoha are cleansed and people are healed including Ifeoma’s mother and Amaka’s mother.
In the Okuoha village, the king and his family are in pain because they think the prince is dead, and the princess Chiamanda losses her mind after remembering how much her brother loves her. She remembered that once he saved her from a snake bite by sucking out the poison from her leg. She cries and accuses her parents for killing her brother. In her fury and anger she goes to the extent of calling them goats. Her parents tie her up and she sees her brother in a vision who tells her to sing for him instead of crying.
In the Buchi village, the family of Ifeoma is also in great pain mourning her death when she shows up with Prince Obinna. The joy of the family is restored and they all welcome Prince Obinna. The next morning, Prince Obinna and Ifeoma set up for Okuoha village where they are welcomed by Igwe and Ne Nkem. Chiamanda sees her brother and regains her sanity. Joy is finally restored in the kingdom and Igwe declares eight days of celebration in the kingdom.
The issue of ritual performances as a means of pacifying the gods is a universal phenomenon in most world religions. Also, the idea of consulting the oracles to unravel the mysteries of life is recurrent in ancient, classical, modern and postmodern traditions. Be it pacifying the gods or attempting to probe into the unknown, the end result is to prepare the future for all generations and avert the wrath of the god to humanity. Thus, living in peace either with the gods or with humanity and maintaining peace become ultimate goals in life. This lesson of peace and adventure remains a moral yardstick to children and young adults.
“Sacrifice” Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, 11:1–39 ,1928.