Production: Jammaje Productions
Producer: Abba El-Mustapha
Director: Falalu A. Dorayi
Cast: Nuhu Abdullahi, Hajara Jalingo, Abba El-Mustapha, Zainab Booth, Sani Mu’azu, Umar Malumfashi and others
God bless the dichotomy between the rich and the poor, or as the socialists call it: the gap between the lower, the bourgeoisies and the upper classes. If it did not exist, the arts would, perhaps, have to invent one for stories to have conflict, upon which many films, novels, dramas, etc rely to intrigue us. This has been the trend since the Victorian Age, or before, with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist down to Femi Osofisan’s Marxist-influenced plays, and so on and so forth. Class consciousness is sadly here to stay with us.
Hausa film industry is equally not short of films based on this global theme. There’s a Way is just another addition to that archive, though in a new style: its language is no longer the ‘local’ Hausa one but the global English. This is one of the reasons why I had to preview the film prior to its release.
As I said in the preview, numerous Hausa films are flagrantly, poorly subtitled in wrong English. The subtitles oftentimes serve a contrary purpose: those with little or no grasp of Hausa language end up puzzled. The shoddy subtitles also expose the educational level of the people in the industry, and by and large, their region. Worse still, the actors, in other times, use ‘Eng-ausa’, a hotchpotch English-Hausa code-switching and mixing. But all that will soon be a history with the emergence of the second (Wasila [English version] is actually the first ever, but that was done more than a decade ago) Kannywood film in ‘Standard’ English language.
(Warning: this section contains spoilers)
There’s a Way does not only present the lower and upper classes struggle; the predatory nature of some university dons is equally bared. As a token, the women issue is not left untouched, thus it is used to set the story afloat. The film opens from a court scene where a woman, abused by her husband, is questioned by the judge. The husband allegedly forces her to abort pregnancies six times. Isham (Nuhu Abdullahi), as a secondary student, witnesses the hearing and becomes interested to study Law in order to assist the poor such as the wife who is evidently harmed. His dream is not meant to be realized easily.