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The Stubborn Generals. Directed by Kalu Anya, Pressing Forward Production Ltd., Nigeria, 108 min, 2013.
We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.
Author of the Entry:
Martin Joel Verdy Mpegna Mvoua, ENS, University of Yaoundé 1, firstname.lastname@example.org
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Daniel Nkemleke, ENS Uiversity of Yaoundé 1, email@example.com
Didymus Tsangue Douanla, University of Yaoundé 1, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Maurice, Bar-Ilan University, email@example.com
Kalu Anya (Director)
Emelu Simon Chibuzor,
Collins Chinedu Okoro.
The Stubborn Generals is a modern Nigerian movie based on the story of a poor and naïve young woman, who gives birth to identical female triplets by name Diana, Agatha, and Cassandra. Since having children out of wedlock is considered a taboo in this society, the triplets are taken from her and sent to three different places where they grow up, having the same physical features but different character traits. However, they all share an imposing and commanding trait—courageous and daring—and as such bear the same nickname “General” because of their power and influence in their respective milieus. Diana has become the Queen of Banana City and she is very rich. Agatha became a police officer and very prominent in her position and always does her job well. Cassandra became a very rich criminal, and always successful in her operations.
Fate brings the three girls together in a very unfortunate situation. The Queen, Diana, loses her husband and becomes a widow. Her husband’s family accuses her of killing the King. Agatha comes in as investigating officer. However, she never gets to meet Diana because of her tight schedule. Cassandra burgles Diana’s house, without knowing it belongs to Diana. Accompanied by her men of the underworld, she enters into the palace and orders her boys to steal all valuables in the palace. When they finish and are about to leave, Cassandra realizes that one of her boys has spotted Diana, the Queen, hiding somewhere in a room, and wants to rape her. Cassandra moves to the room and is surprised at the resemblance between herself and Queen Diana, and begins to question her about her family origin. Diana, too, is confused, but tells her a fake story in order to delay Cassandra, since she had already alerted the police that there were thieves in her palace. In a short time, the police arrive and catch the thieves, and take them to the police station.
At the police station, Agatha realizes that the two women involved in the incident look very much like her. To their greatest dismay, the three discover that they are indeed blood sisters. Agatha, the “just” officer, now finds herself in a difficult situation: should she protect her blood sister or not? But she is ethically required to do what is right. In order words, she is legally required to imprison Cassandra and she decides that Cassandra must pay for her atrocities. Upon further investigations, it is revealed that Diana herself got to the throne through fraudulent means. Agatha presents her with two options: either she chooses to go to jail or abdicates her throne. She chooses the latter.
At the end of the movie, Agatha, Diana, and Cassandra visit their village of origin and discover their mother’s grave. Cassandra would later serve her prison term.
Fate and retribution in Greek Mythology:
The behaviour of Cassandra in the movie may be likened to that of Cassandra in classical mythology. Both are powerful women who step boldly into male dominated power structures and are silenced. Rajan and Bahun-Radunović note that in classical mythology Cassandra was a famous seeress who, during the Trojan war, “was perceived as mitigating against power structures and hence was silenced by men for her attempts to interfere into male affairs of war” (6). Further, the name Diana is reminiscent of the adventurous roman goddess of hunting, the moon and nature. Because, she was considered as a triple goddess (C. M. C. Green) with both kind and harmful attributes, the triplets can be seen as the three sides of her personality.
The three women in this movie also resemble Oedipus who is removed from his homeland and grows up in a different place unaware of his identity, and only discovers the truth about his origin through unforeseen events/fate. Agatha’s discovery of the identity of her sisters may also be likened to Oedipus’ solving of the riddle of the Sphinx.
Rajan, V.G. Julie and Sanja Bahun-Radunović. “The Feminine Gaze: Looking Back and Across the Landscape of Myth” in From Word to Canvas: Appropriations of Myth in Women’s Aesthetic Production. Rajan, V.G. Julie and Sanja Bahun-Radunović (eds.). New Castle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009, pp. 1-7.
Green, C. M. C. Roman Religion and the Cult of Diana at Aricia. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2007.
Sophocles. Oedipus Tyrannus. Trans. Meineck, Peter and Paul Woodruff. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc, 2000.
Production Team: Chibuzor Emulu Simon, Collins Chinedu, Pascal Chinedu, Stanley Chibuzor Okoro, Isaac Ifeanyi, Raphael Ike, Ugo Ubani.