African Voices


  • Description
  • SHOOT THE MESSENGER is a bold, funny, and controversial film directed by the politically explosive Nigerian-Brit filmmaker, Ngozi Onwurah. The film's opening line"... everything bad that has ever happened to me has involved a Black person," rouses and prepares you for a critically insightful and intellectually charged confrontation of ideological and cultural perspectives that is candidly rendered in this remarkably thought-provoking film.

    The story chronicles an idealistic Black professional who decides to become a teacher in order to enhance the lives of young Black students. In a twist of irony, the well intentioned professor finds himself pitted against the students he initially pledged to help and soon becomes a target of the Black community. Feeling betrayed, the young teacher directs his feelings of resentment and rejection against all Black people and adopts the belief that Black people are essentially the root of all evil.

    This laugh-out-loud comedy brilliantly satirizes conceptions of racial identity and cultural norms. Cleverly written, with a spectacular performance from the film's leading actor, SHOOT THE MESSENGER is a refreshing contribution to an African film aesthetic that doesn't take itself too seriously.

©2019 American Film Institute. All rights reserved.