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This Is My Desire Image

This Is My Desire


Contemporary World Cinema | Panorama

Twin brothers Arie and Chuko Esiri have done something quietly remarkable here: through the stories of Mofe (Jude Akuwudike), an electrician and handyman, and Rosa (Temi Ami-Williams), a hairdresser and bartender, they’ve painted a textured, heartfelt, and decidedly non-melodramatic portrait of what it’s like to be poor on the colourful streets of Nigeria’s most populous city, Lagos.

Though they never really cross paths, Mofe and Rosa share both a neighbourhood and a desire to emigrate to Europe. They jump through numerous hoops, but it is their daily lives and the steady accumulation of quotidian detail - constant money problems, family strife, the occasional helping hand of another - that constitute the film’s heart and soul. Splendidly shot on 35mm by Arseni Khachaturan and carefully controlled, This Is My Desire also cleverly balances humanistic naturalism with grace notes of humour and conviviality.

"This Is My Desire is a low-key charmer, but it really delivers as a clear-eyed portrait of a vibrant city, informed by the unfakeable love… of two talented native sons." - Jessica Kiang, Variety

North American premiere
Director Icon Director
Arie & Chuko

Jude Akuwudike, Tomiwa Edun, Temi Ami-williams, Cynthia Ebijie, Jacob Alexander, Chioma Omeruah
Executive Producer Maiden Alex Ibru, Toke Alex Ibru, Salman Zoueihed, Kayode Akindele, Albert Esiri, Ifeoma Esiri, Olorugun Oskar Ibru, Christopher Ibru
Producer Melissa Adeyemo, Arie Esiri, Chuko Esiri
Screenwriter Chuko Esiri
Cinematographer Arseni Khachaturan
Editor Andrew Stephen Lee
Music Akin Adebowale
Production Company Kimiera
Source Pascale Ramonda
Nigeria 2020 110 min. Pidgin with English subtitles
Community Media Partners
Afro News


Please note that VIFF 2020 online films can be viewed in British Columbia only.

Esiri, Arie headshot


Arie and Chuko Esiri were born 30 minutes apart in Warri, Nigeria. When they were growing up in Lagos their mother would put a padlock on the TV in a misguided attempt to make them more studious. 20 years later both would enroll at film school. Arie graduated from Columbia University and Chuko NYU. During their time in New York they collaborated on a pair of short films; Besida which premiered at the 68th Berlinale, and Goose, at the LA Film Festival. Eyimofe is their first feature film.

Esiri, Chuko headshot

Director – Chuko Esiri

Please see above.

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