Phyllis (2010)

“Alt-Nollywood” video, 15mins 37 secs.

 Phyllis debuted at the Sharon Stone in Abuja exhibition. The film is a moving and atmospheric portrait of a lonely woman obsessed with synthetic Nollywood dramas, that lives in the city of Lagos, Nigeria. The central device in this short experimental film is the practise and significance of wig-wearing in Nollywood film; a practise Zina has invested with deeper psychological as well as science-fiction layers. Underpinning this central idea, however, is a critique of the unforgiving treatment of single women in Nollywood and Nigeria and a meditation on loneliness and mental illness.

The film is an example of what Zina has termed “alt-Nollywood”, a genre she created that reworks certain narrative, stylistic and visual conventions of Nollywood film. Phyllis explores the gothic possibilities of the Nollywood aesthetic creating a new kind of low-budget atmospheric film that is very much of Nollywood and yet subverts the genre.