The Desired Number

A film by Ngozi Onwurah

Nigeria | 1995 | 28 minutes | Color | VHS | Subtitled | Order No. 99072

The Desired Number is only available as part of a series "Women's Lives and Choices." View series.

This film is part of the Women's Lives and Choices series


THE DESIRED NUMBER uses the Ibu Eze ceremony in Nigeria to highlight how family planning issues often conflict with traditional family values. Nigeria is Africa's most populous country, yet has one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world. The Ibu Eze ceremony, which celebrates women who have given birth to large numbers of children, is perhaps the only recognition a woman will receive for her efforts. Contrasting with the festivities are views of community members who raise the idea that praising large families without considering quality of life is not necessarily a blessing for women.


Ngozi Onwurah

Black British filmmaker Ngozi Onwurah takes on the issues of time and space in her work which embraces heterogeneity and multiple sites of subjectivity. Onwurah consistently navigates and challenges the limits of narrative and ethnographic cinema by insisting that the body is the central landscape of an anti-imperialist cinematic discourse.

An accomplished director with several episodes of the top British TV drama series "Heartbeat" to her credit, Ngozi Onwurah also wrote and directed the prize-winning feature "Welcome II the Terrordome." Sometimes fierce and at others more gently humorous, Onwurah tackles the clashes and ironies of the apparent gulf separating black and white, whilst showing that under the skin, emotions are universal.

Onwurah’s films have won prizes at the Berlin Film Festival, Germany; Melbourne Film Festival, Australia; Toronto Film Festival, Canada; and at NBPC, USA. (09/09)


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