Ifeoma Chukwuogo’s splendid and incredibly moving short film Bariga Sugar, released in 2017, pegged her as an exciting director to watch out for. I have been eager to see what Chukwuogo would come up with next. Her followup, Under, with an official trailer out now, is a miniseries that makes an interesting pivot towards crime and mystery. The synopsis reads:
Gift is a naive young woman down on her luck. She works as a domestic help but hopes for more. An accidental murder she commits in self-defense leads her cross paths with Nonso, a mid-level member of a kidnapping syndicate. Friendship and attraction grows as they continue to lead their separate lives making desperate decisions along the way in a bid to survive. Underbelly explores themes of survival, good vs evil, friendship, love and the justifications individuals hold on to in their decisions to shun morality and embrace survival.
While Bariga Sugar was a contained, claustrophobic tale, Under covers more ground, literally and figuratively, with expansive shots of a bubbling city life. In the opening of the trailer, we see Gift stabbing someone we can’t see with a knife. Other scenes in the footage show an interweaving of politics and the underbelly of a crime world. I like how Under explores the abuse and exploitation of domestic helps, and female trauma and survival. Starring Tope Tedela, Kunle Coker, Efa Iwara, Rita Edwards, Yemi Sodimu, Chioma Nwosu, and Gabrielle Omozele, no release date for the series has been announced yet, and even the platform it would be made available to. Produced by Fikky K Pictures, here’s the trailer below: