Nigerian Artist Digitally Enhances Classic Gangster Film, Inserts Self.
It’s been over 40 years since the initial release of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather was released. But as with many of Hollywood’s most celebrated classics, you’d be hard pressed to find complex black characters in the forefront (or even the background) of the award-winning Mafia drama.That is, until now.
Fed up with the misrepresentation and underepresentation of black men in this film, Nigerian artist Uche Okpa-Iroha has digitally inserted himself into scenes throughout the film.
In his own words, Okpa-Iroha says:
‘The Godfather is one of the best films ever, but it misrepresents and underrepresents the black man, and as an artist I have to question that. I use humour to probe the media dynamics of race and examine the imbalance in Hollywood. My simple acts of intrusion show what was left out.’
What I love most about these images is that the space that Okpa-Iroha occupies in 2-D creates an almost palpable character that goes beyond the stereotypical. He is present in pivotal scenes and, although the film’s real characters do not always appear to directly interacting with him, it does not diminish or take away from the fact that not only is he there, but he has a voice and has agency.