Before the birth of electronic method of documenting and preserving historical events, storytelling was used as a medium of preserving history from generation to generation. Story telling which is usually done through memory recall by older people who witness such event, such method cannot be said to be very accurate and reliable because there is tendency for the story teller to add or remove some significant fact, thereby rendering the story inaccurate. This method is liable of presenting distorted information to the generation unborn. This work therefore engages in the critical analysis of using films as a tool for accurate storytelling and resurgence of past historical events. Half of a yellow sun produced by Andrea Calderwood and Oyenusi Produced by Seun Olaiya was critically analysed.
Adopting Ball Rokeach’s and Defleur media dependency theory, this work posit that film should be studied in the context of a larger social context, the more important role media play in a person’s life the more effect media will have on a person. The study equally adopted qualitative and analytical and comparative, descriptive, historical and expository type of approach. Two films namely Half of a yellow sun and Oyenusi were critically analysed for this objective, the films themes, plots and other theatrical element were analysed.
This work discovers the importance of film in the documentation, preservation and representation of historical event with near accuracy as at when it happened. Half of a yellow sun regurgitate the event of Nigeria/Biafra war, it reviews the intention of the Igbos to secede from Nigeria, spearheaded by late General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu and the stiff opposition mounted by the Nigeria side under the leadership of General Yakubu Gowon leading to the final resolution of the war in 1967 where a truce was reached and the slogan No winner No Vanquish was adopted. Oyenusi on the other hand document and reviews the antics of the armed robber (Oyenusi) who terrorised the south west state of the country during the early 70’s. Eventually he was captured, paraded and paid the ultimate price by been shot before a marmot of crowd at the popular Lagos bar beach.
Film produces should invest in the production of historical films for the preservation, documentation and education of historical past events. Film production no doubt serves not only as a source of entertainment but also as a source of cultural and historical preservation as was noted in the film analysed. Several past historical event raging from pre-independence, independence and post-independence should be documented to educate and preserve historical cultural values.