May 17, 2020

The Fourth Side: The Unchanging Truth

By Amara Iwuala

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They say there are three sides to a story – your side, my side and the truth – but Uyoyou Adia, the writer and director of The Fourth Side, asserts, through this film, that the realities of the 21st century have inevitably introduced a fourth facet to the matter.

Mamode (Oruaro Adia) finally gets a longed-for job, but his dalliance with Ify (Omowunmi Dada), a fellow applicant, costs Mamode the job, leading to untold consequences.  The Fourth Side reminds one of Disclosure, a 1994 Hollywood film, starring Demi Moore and Michael Douglas, where office romance degenerates into a rape allegation. 

Unlike the 1990s, there are now smartphones and social media, which one of the parties in the movie unwittingly deploys and the evidence rises to the occasion since there are no witnesses to corroborate the justice-impelled victim’s story.

Fact checking has also improved.  These days, it is not uncommon for individuals to make unambiguous statements and then turn around to claim that they were quoted out of context.  A recent example of such attribution and denial sessions involved Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), quoted as claiming that the COVID-19 pandemic was a consequence of corruption. His organization’s image makers came out to deny that their boss was misrepresented by newsmen.  Eventually, an unadulterated video surfaced online, showing that Magu uttered those words. 

A decade ago, the case of Uzoma Okere’s ordeal in the hands of naval ratings elicited significant outrage, owing to the ingenuity of a spectator who recorded the barbaric assault the young lady endured on the streets of Victoria Island, Lagos.  The recorder was said to have captured the drama from an adjoining building.  Of course, the video became the star exhibit in court, leading to accelerated decision on the matter and the award of a hundred million naira as damages.

The biggest lesson in The Fourth Side is that traumatic situations can change a person or family’s life forever, especially when death occurs.  Therefore, it is crucial for human beings to weigh their actions, lest they cause irreversible damage to other people.

The film’s sound is crisp, earning it the Best Sound laurel at the 2019 InShort International Film Festival.  Uyoyou Adia is commended for making this short film, which uniquely contributes to conversations on sexual harassment and the vital role of today’s technology in unraveling the truth.     

Just like For Salma, which was voted the Best Documentary Film at the 2020 Academy Awards, The Fourth Side is a huge campaign for citizen journalism and eyewitness reports.

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