Rejoice Abutsa

Giant in the Sun (1959)

Giant in the Sun begins by mapping the diverse regions that have been pulled together to form a common identity for Nigeria. The film’s focus is on the reconstruction of the lives and society of the natives, a year before Nigeria gained its independence. The anxieties and shifts are documented through the reformation of education, health sectors, government, and leadership. Giant in the Sun particularizes how locals were transformed from ways of cultural mobilization into political ones, from being communities to identifying as a nation, from co-existence to individualistic participation in the nation state.

In one of the scenes, the British narrator alludes to these shifts when he narrates that the Lord Lugard institute played a key role to “Nigerian-ize the regional government”. These shifts captured in Giant of the Sun were constructed in media spheres and to Britain’s counterparts as evidence of the success of colonial rule.

Director: Sydney Samuelson
Year: 1959
Genre: Documentary