Thursday, June 10, 2021

Very brief word on THE LEGEND OF THE UNDERGROUND (2021)

This is just a quick note to say that THE LEGEND OF THE UNDERGROUND is a good film about the persecution and prosecution of “nonconformists” and their allies in Nigeria. If the subject interests you make an effort to see it.


Apologies for not saying more but HBO is requesting that we limit our language in talking about the film and its subject matter so that anything we say does not result in persecution of the subjects of the film. I find it insane since everything we are not allowed to say is said in the film itself and the widely circulating trailer. 

I know HBO and the filmmakers want to keep the subjects of the film safe, the trouble is that once it hits HBO all bets are off. The film will get into Nigeria and the lives of the film’s subjects will be at risk. Additionally if HBO is worried that words will kill, but  cutting off the words of the critics will not stop it since the millions of viewers who are not bound by HBO’s requirements will have way more effect than a bunch of men and women scribble nonsense on films. HBO would be better served in keeping the men profiled safe by simply not showing the film…and I would argue that they shouldn’t do that either, this is a story that needs to be told.

In order for hatred to end, in order for there to be real change you have to not be afraid of words. Insisting on euphemisms is simply allowing the hatred to grow and fester. You can’t kill the hatred and stupidity of our fellow men and women by allowing any part of it to remain hidden for any reason. You can not limit the discussion of an evil you hope to change if you really want that change.

For better or worse THE LEGEND OF THE UNDEGROUND is an important film and it needs to be seen and discussed and not pussyfooted around. It shouldn’t be neutered by its studio who makes a documentary challenging the way things are who then wusses out by stifling real discussion by censoring terms. They can’t have it both ways since to stifle discussion is to limit its audience and ability to change the world

By refusing to allow a real and honest and  discussion with a full vocabulary HBO is helping to let the hatred grow.  

The copy of the film in the press library does not have any limitations about reviews and language.

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