In a remarkable triumph that has captured the hearts and minds of viewers worldwide, Anakle Films proudly presents The Black Book, an extraordinary cinematic experience that has forever changed the landscape of African cinema that tells a fictional story exploring the West African country’s conflicted history with military dictatorship, drug trafficking, and politics, through a retired hitman’s journey to seek justice. Since its premiere on Netflix this past September, The Black Book has left a mark, not only making waves worldwide but creating history as the first Nigerian film to take the position of Top 3 globally on Netflix. According to the streaming tracking website FlixPatrol, The Black Book’s global appeal made it the #1 film on Netflix globally from Day 3 of its release, making it the first African title to hit such heights on the Netflix Global Daily tracker.
Directed by Editi Effiong, The Black Book details the fictional story of Paul Edima, a former military and drug cartel hitman in Nigeria who cemented his legend with an unparalleled record of assassinations, coups, abductions, and drug operations. After walking away to live a quiet life for 30 years, Edima is forced back to seek justice when his only son is killed by a gang of corrupt policemen.
“This achievement for an independent African film is nothing short of historic,” The Black Book Director Editi Effiong says, “The film has been well received globally and has surpassed our expectations. This film carries deep cultural significance, portraying the struggles of the Nigerian people over the years. I am immensely proud that The Black Book has brought this narrative to life.”
Within a matter of weeks following its release, The Black Book captured the imagination of over 20 million viewers and had taken a spot on Netflix’s top 10 list for three consecutive weeks in 69 countries. While numerous African films have graced the platform, The Black Book stands out as a trailblazer for the African film industry.
“The Black Book’s success proves African stories, made on the continent by Africans, can stand on their merit on the global stage. Great storytelling is universal, and although the story of The Black Book is inspired by what has happened in Nigeria, the themes have resonated across the world, especially in South America and South East Asia, with South Korea being a standout case study, where the film was #1 according to Netflix official data,” Effiong says, “The Black Book has shaken up how the world sees the Nigerian cinematic experience, and the results have been incredible; the Anakle Films production team has been blessed with world-class actors to bring this new Nigerian narrative to life, as well as the chance to incorporate some amazing sets and never-before-seen large-scale location shoots into the feature.”
The film features an ensemble cast of Africa’s most well-known actors, including Richard Mofe-Damijo, Alex Usifo, Sam Dede, Denola Grey, Shaffy Bello, and Ireti Doyle. The Black Book delves into a fictional narrative that explores the West African country’s conflicted history with military dictatorship, drug trafficking, and politics through a retired hitman’s journey to seek justice.
The film production brought together professionals from 6 countries, including the USA, UK, Guadeloupe, South Africa, and Nigeria, and was filmed with world-class audio-visual technology at a scale seen in Nigeria for the first time. Pre-production for The Black Book started in 2020, where the film’s lead characters underwent intense training with stunt and tactical trainers to help them achieve high-level skills in martial arts and the use of weaponry. Filmed over four months across multiple sites in Nigeria [many have never been used for film production], including the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Lagos’ Apapa Port, and Old Railway Compound, Kaduna. The team also constructed huge sets and sound stages, not usually seen in Nigerian cinema, to achieve some stand-out scenes.