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Palaver is a 1926 silent film shot in British Nigeria, recognized as the first Nigerian feature film.[1]

Palaver: A Romance of Northern Nigeria
Directed byGeoffrey Barkas
Release date
Running time
108 minutes

The film was significant for its use of non-professional local Nigerians as actors. While not a box-office success,[2] it was to prove significant in the larger history of Nigerian cinema.



The film portrays conflicts between a British District Officer and a local tin miner which lead to war.


Later commentators have classified Palaver amongst other colonial films which claimed the "beneficent influence of the white man in Africa."[3] Barkas himself, in interviews about his work, referred to his casting from "cannibal pagan tribes" and spoke of their "blind savagery."[4]

Nigerian Pulse magazine in 2017 described the film as "proudly racist", and noted: Even though it was produced in Nigeria, Palaver was made for the British audience. There is no error in that the narrative was consistent with the popular idea sold in Europe that the colonial masters were doing Africans a favour by colonizing them.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Kenneth W. Harrow (1 May 2017). African Filmmaking: Five Formations. Michigan State University Press. pp. 24–. ISBN 978-1-62895-297-1.
  2. ^ Ian Aitken (18 October 2013). Encyclopedia of the Documentary Film 3-Volume Set. Taylor & Francis. pp. 486–. ISBN 978-1-135-20627-7.
  3. ^ James Curran; Vincent Porter (1983). British cinema history. Weidenfeld and Nicolson. p. 132.
  4. ^ Michael Chima Ekenyerengozi. NOLLYWOOD MIRROR. pp. 96–. ISBN 978-1-312-19977-4.
  5. ^ Akande, Segun (6 November 2017). ""Palaver": The first movie ever made in Nigeria was proudly racist".

External linksEdit