Recitation–Mount Zion Movie Review (From Premiere)

Recitation, written, produced and directed by Damilola Mike-Bamiloye

RECITATION, a Mount Zion movie written, produced and directed by Damilola Mike-Bamiloye, was yet to be released and was being premiered at my roomie’s church. I had to jump on her invite. You know, anything to spice up my outwardly boring life during the short school break. It was my first time at a movie premiere, and for a Mount Zion movie, I had expectations. The famous “The Winlos” were among the cast. I just had to see the movie for myself and prepare a befitting honest review before everyone had access to it on Youtube. So, brace up, you’re about to be barraged with spoilers.

Recitation trailer. Movie to be premiered on 9th April, 2023.

Unfortunately, I had stuffed into my bag, too much human sense and when the movie, which was exhibiting a very “Mount-Zion-ey” signature (Jaymikee’s ever-emotional soundtracks) started showing, my treasured senses started crawling out of the bag, one by one, disarming me. Pseudo-hard girl soon started tearing up. All the logic of “This is not how real life is!” and “Would you please have Jaymikee not add emotional soundtracks in most of the scenes?” fizzled over the heads of us premiere-ers in the semi-dark church auditorium, all eyes glued to the screens.

I had too much sense for someone who wanted to watch a Christian movie. And you can’t blame me. I jre-learnt on the spot, that you have to be the fool to receive what God has for you.

Faith sometimes is you acting like a fool.

The movie started showing after a short prayer, and the lead character, Osamudiame was a chronic stutterer who faced bullying at school. He had a Pastor-like teacher who dropped quotes from time to time. Encouraging? Yes. The boy was a member of a dysfunctional family with an alcohol-loving father. His family was dependent on an uncle who, unfortunately, died. And to that effect, the father decided that school was on hold for his children. With brothers who didn’t care that they do not get a chance to go to uni, his sorrow was more observable.

And just at that time, a scholarship opportunity that seemed impossible for a stutterer–50 Bible verses to be recited in 5 minutes showed up. And it was up to the faith-full teacher to convince Osamudiame’s parents.

It was not hard to understand the reason why the father stopped going to church and believing in God. It was a situation of having believed in God for something which doesn’t happen. When such a person later gets to meet someone that’s trying to talk something about faith to him, everything would fly over his head, because he knows too much of reality.

The movie encompassed a lot of things; bullying, drugs, Christian friendship, just faith basically. At a point in the movie, I was like “Where’s this story driving to?” I thought to myself, if I ever wrote myself to a point like this, how was I going to get myself out of it? Obviously, we all knew how the story would end but the reason we all sat there, watching still was to see through what mechanism the miracle would happen.

One of the things that made this movie very significant for me was the atmosphere in which I watched the movie. It was very accepting. More than seeing the people they knew in the movie(Some Mount Zion Film Production Actors attended the church), most of them had faith like children.

The row I sat in was almost like a visitor’s line. It was scanty. And at a point when people clapped while watching the movie, most of us in the row did not clap. To be truthful, I also didn’t at the first time, because apart from the overwhelming sense of reality I took along with me, I was trying not to lose myself in another person’s land—you know, etiquette things that mum has taught about how to behave among strangers which have stuck like gum.

It took me some seconds longer than others who were into the groove and was already clapping that the miracle had happened. Osamudiame ate communion in the dream and he woke up and started praying in tongues. For me, it was also very technical because you don’t stutter when you pray in tongues. You don’t do “Sh-sh-sh-shaba b-b-ba” right? You pray in tongues straight.

I think that God came through for me. If I was having logical doubts about the happenings in the movie, my understanding of the miracle also had to be logical, despite the miracle being supernatural. I actually got goosebumps. The movie shook my faith. Because 50 memory verses in 5 minutes for a stutterer, wow.

The teacher’s decision to coach him to the competition was wild and could be downright labelled ridiculous. At the point when he hired the speech therapist, I went “Now, you’re talking” because what’s the job of a speech therapist that you just decide to just keep coaching him blindly? Mrs. Darasimi Oyor’s role in Gbemi the movie was that of a very practical girl who was thought to be materialistic, her role here was that of Mrs Alexandria, the practical speech therapist, and she made valid points when she decided she wasn’t coaching the boy anymore.

Yeah, I was in support of the speech therapist’s stand but I knew that since it was a Christian movie, the miracle would have to happen without her standing with them to the end.

So, the movie had me shaken apparently. It had me understanding and remembering that part of the Bible that says “Except ye be like a child, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven”. You have to be a child to believe in all these things at all.

I was reminded of how much adulthood had engulfed me. I believe that if I had watched this as a child, not having experienced the few things I’ve experienced in my few years, I might have been jumping up and down the church auditorium despite stares of “Who is this happy stranger?”

Generally, the movie was nice. It might have been a bit slow at some places. But maybe those scenes weren’t sl0w, because thinking about it now, I think they were not unnecessary.

I appreciate proper pacing in movies when I see it, letting the emotions show and saturate the character and the viewer and all those things. I know some people will read this, and come for me, saying that it doesn’t matter whether it’s slow or not, as long as it is impacting lives. And I shouldn’t compare a secular movie to a Christian movie even though the seemingly secular Nollywood industry is now making ‘Christian’ movies. Man of God as an example, or ‘The Wait’ which was equally impactful. But really, I also agree with you. In my roomie’s words; As long as the movie is impactful.

And for real, funding and sponsorship for movies like the one Mount Zion makes is definitely God’s blessing. It’d be awesome if more Christians gave their money for things like that—sponsoring the work God commissioned into people’s hands. Lest I forget, my roommate sponsored my attending the premiere. It was still hard to lay my hands on cash for transporting myself, and she supplied that.

God truly bless all doing God’s work in the many ways they can, Amen.

4 thoughts on “Recitation–Mount Zion Movie Review (From Premiere)

  1. I have not yet seen Recitation, and I am encouraged to do so thanks to your review.

    Thank you!

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