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Nigeria’s Hafsat Abiola to attend the Family of Woman Film Festival in Sun Valley and Boise, Idaho

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Hafsat’s parents sacrificed their lives in the pursuit of human rights, and she has made her own sacrifices in returning to Nigeria to fulfill their legacy.”

Peggy Elliott Goldwyn, Co-Chair The Family of Woman Film Festival

 

The 8th annual Family of Woman Film Festival, February 24 through March 1, will launch its film screenings with “The Supreme Price” on Thursday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. with filmmaker Joanna Lipper and the film’s subject Hafsat Abiola to be present at the festival in Sun Valley and Boise, Idaho.

As a Nigerian government official, Hafsat Abiola is required to be in the country for its elections.  She is now able to make an appearance in the U.S. only because of a recent decision to delay the scheduled Feb. 14 elections until March 28 by Nigeria’s electoral commission. Officials stated the delay was necessary in order to regain control of the north-east regions of Nigeria currently being held by the Islamist extremists of Boko Haram. Controversy over the postponement has increased tension surrounding an intense election campaign with the government’s failure to stem Boko Haram’s brutal assaults on towns and villages of the north-east a major issue. The fourth election since the end of military rule in 1998, the delayed vote will be the biggest test of whether Africa’s most populous nation can hold democratic elections after decades of rule by guns, bribery and intimidation.

“While we’re concerned about the delay in Nigeria’s election process, we’re honored that Hafsat Abiola will be able to join us in Sun Valley and Boise to not only give us an analysis of the political situation in Nigeria, but to also appear as an advocate for women,” said Festival Co-Chair Peggy Elliott Goldwyn. “In times of crisis, the lives of women and children are most at risk.  Hafsat’s parents sacrificed their lives in the pursuit of human rights, and she has made her own sacrifices in returning to Nigeria to fulfill their legacy. It’s our privilege to enable her to bring her own story to Idaho, as well as her view of the challenges her country faces.”

In 1993, Nigeria elected M.K.O. Abiola as president in a historic vote that promised to end years of military dictatorship. Shortly after the election, Abiola was imprisoned as another military regime seized power, and his wife, Kudirat, took over the leadership of the pro-democracy movement, organizing strikes and marches and winning international attention for the Nigerian struggle. Because of this work, she too became a target and was assassinated in 1996.

Lipper elegantly dovetails past and present as she tells this story through the eyes of Hafsat Abiola, who was about to graduate from Harvard when her mother was murdered. Her father died in prison two years later under mysterious circumstances. Determined not to let her parents’ democratic ideals die with them, Hafsat returns to Nigeria after years in exile and is at the forefront of a progressive movement to empower women and dismantle the patriarchal structure of Nigerian society.

“The Supreme Price” provides an unprecedented look inside of Africa’s most populous nation, exposing the tumultuous, violent history of a deeply entrenched corrupt culture of governance where a tiny circle of political elites monopolize billions of dollars worth of oil revenue while the masses remain impoverished.

Hafsat Abiola and filmmaker Joanna Lipper will be present for the screening of “The Supreme Price” on Friday, Feb. 27, at 6:30 p.m. at the Special Events Center on the Boise State campus. This screening is free and open to the public.

All films at the festival are $15 and $60 for the entire film series with a free matinee at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 28, with Ketchum native, journalist and filmmaker Reed Lindsay. Tickets are available at the door for each screening and at Chapter One Bookstore and Iconoclast Books in Ketchum.

In partnership with the Family of Woman Film Festival, Boise State University [BSU] is sponsoring films and speakers in Boise with BSU students attending the full festival in Sun Valley. Sun Valley speakers will make reciprocal appearances in Boise.

For a complete schedule as well as information on special guests, visit www.familyofwomanfilmfestival.org.

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