Funke (2018)

‘Funke!’ (2018) is an Interesting view of Nigerian life



It’s hard to believe that in Sep-2018, two movies were released with the title Funke. This review is about the Nigerian feature film directed by Filmboyz Yemi Morafa and Friday Nwagwu. The other film is a documentary on Los Angeles restauranteur Evan Funke. 

This Funke! takes place in 1996 in a mid-size city in Nigeria. Funke (Miracle Inyanda) wants to play football, which her parents angrily discourage. Her mother feels playing will make her unmarriable, whereas her father wants her to pursue the education he never had. Funke persists in playing, worming her way into acceptance by the local football academy players and their coach. When her parents discover her disobedience, they send her to her uncle’s boarding school. Though she tries to embody the acceptable female role, a devious opportunity to play arises.

It’s pretty rare that I can’t research any information about a film, but such is the case with Funke!. The film was produced last year, but Filmboyz no longer has a website and its youtube channel has just 2 subscribers (which is 2 more than my channel has). Still, someone managed to sell this low-budget film ($100,000 according to filmway) to Amazon Prime.

No matter how the film got on Amazon Prime, I think Americans will benefit from watching it. To be honest, I found the side stories of the righteous labor-organizing father and the struggling coach more interesting than the main story. The actors give excellent comic performances, and the story shows a muddled slice of Nigerian life that we don’t normally see. I say muddled because it appears that although it is supposedly a 1990s period piece, much of the clothing, attitudes, language, football agency, outdoor settings, etc all come from the modern milieu. In fact, I missed the “1996” title in the setting scene, and it never occurred to me that the storyline was not contemporary. 

Miracle Inyanda has excellent juggling skills, but as far as soccer, there is very little to watch.

6 Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 6