The recent kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls by the terrorist group Boko Haram highlighted many of the problems that are corroding civil society in Nigeria, including a brutal and growing disregard for women’s rights and a government that is as ineffective at protecting its citizens as it is adept at punishing them. Those are the problems that Hafsat Abiola, the heroine of The Supreme Price, is devoting her life to addressing.
The film starts with a quick, dense recap of the last half-century or so of Nigeria’s political history, combining narration by Hafsat with archival footage, photos, and interviews with former U.S. diplomats and other experts. After a brief review of the military coup of 1966 and the brutal civil war and increased corruption that followed, it slows down to cover the 1993 election of Hafsat’s father, M.K.O. Abiola, as president of Nigeria and his arrest by the military, which reinstalled itself as the nation’s leader immediately after his win.