The Man of God
Nigerian drama has abuse, language, smoking.
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The Man of God
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Man of God is a 2022 Nigerian drama in which a musician finds success as a minister but struggles with temptation and his abusive past. While the movie is in some respects a modern faith-based retelling of the prodigal son story from the Bible, there are adult themes and situations throughout. "F--k" is often used, and there's cigarette and cigar smoking. The lead character, Samuel, is a womanizer who, in addition to being involved with the three most important women over the course of his life, is implied to be having affairs with other women on the side, including an incident resulting in a pregnancy that he denies causing. One character makes money on the black market through drug dealing and human organ trafficking. The movie shows a lot about Nigerian culture and music, as well as the spiritual, social, and financial prominence religion holds in that country.
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What's the Story?
In THE MAN OF GOD, Samuel (Akah Nnani) is a working musician who also attends college in Lagos, the capital of Nigeria. Growing up, he was physically abused by his minister father, and is doing his best to put his past behind him. While romantically involved with Rekya, Samuel finds himself hopelessly smitten with his friend Teju's best friend Joy. Joy is active in Samuel's church, and as Samuel and Joy become close, the pastor steps in and sets Joy up with another minister, as he's wary of Samuel and his womanizing ways. Heartbroken, Samuel eventually becomes involved with Teju, and they get married. Struggling financially as a church music minister, Samuel decides to follow Rekya's advice to make big money as a minister of his own church. Claiming that God has spoken to him, Samuel and Teju start the "Vineyard of Love Ministries." While he does find enormous financial success, Samuel's womanizing past begins to catch up with him, and when Reyka offers him an illegal way to make even more money, Samuel must either take responsibility for his actions or live with the consequences.
Is It Any Good?
This is a "Nollywood" take on the prodigal son story. The Man of God is the somewhat unwieldy story of Samuel, a man who escapes his family and his father's abuse in order to pursue being a musician in the mold of his hero, Fela Kuti. While he attends church, he's also a womanizer who breaks hearts and also gets his own heart broken. It can be quite melodramatic at times, and there's a rawness to this unorthodox faith-based story that's likely to be a bit much for faith-based viewers who are accustomed to a much more sanitized reality conveyed in their entertainment.
In the middle of all of this are some wonderful musical sequences, live Afrobeat-style performances that are entertaining in and of themselves. The story itself isn't a love triangle so much as it is a love octagon among Samuel, three women, and at least four of the seven deadly sins. Some of the transitions in time are not the smoothest, and the ending comes across as more than a little forced to fit the overall theme. And yet, the acting is solid across the board, the story mostly holds together, and it's a fascinating glimpse into the social and political power that religion wields in this country's culture.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about movies that retell classic and/or Biblical stories, like The Man of God. How is this movie a retelling of the prodigal son story in the Bible?
How does the movie show the power that organized religion has in Nigeria -- in terms of culture and music, and as an industry?
How does the movie address topics like child abuse, infidelity, the power of music, and how religion, faith, and spirituality can be used and abused?
- On DVD or streaming: April 16, 2022
- Cast: Akah Nnani, Osas Ighodaro, Dorcas Shola Fapson
- Director: Bolanle Austen-Peters
- Studio: Netflix
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Music and Sing-Along
- Run time: 111 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: March 19, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
The Legend of the Underground
Powerful docu about discrimination in Nigeria; violence.
Coming-of-age teen drama has diverse, positive female leads.
Breezy tale of Nigerian woman in corporate "man's world."
For kids who love international movies
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