Forty years after the assassination of late former Head of State, Gen. Murtala Muhammed, a film titled, ’76 inspired by that dark episode made history today when it was announced as the first Nigerian film to have its European premiere at the prestigious BFI London Film Festival in October.
The film, a love story embedded in treason, intrigue, patriotism and faith is set in Ibadan, Oyo State, against the backdrop of transition and the struggle for political stability in 1976 and is inspired by real life events that led to the assassination of Gen. Murtala Muhammed.
‘76 the multi-million dollar landmark Nigerian cinematic production, already scheduled to make a global opening at the 41st Toronto International Film Festival later this month has now also been exclusively chosen to have its European premiere at the prestigious BFI London Film Festival . This is the first Nollywood film, the third largest film industry in the world to be chosen by both Toronto and London film festivals back-to-back and is a new milestone in African cinema.
The film, cast and crew have received a major boost with a high profile endorsement from the Head of State who succeeded the assassinated Murtala Muhammed at the time; His Excellency General Olusegun Obasanjo, then later went on to become a two-term President. He described ‘76 as “the best view of one of the worst times in our nation’s history. A must watch and an insight that was long overdue. Watching the attention to detail and hearing my own voice in February 1976, brought out both sweet and sour memories as Murtala Muhammed was not only my boss, he was my friend. I cannot attest to what went on in the homes as we were focused on the field, but this film gives even I, an insight into that.”