The Black Book’ on Netflix: A Tale of Truth or Fiction?

By Louie Fecou
Published: September 25, 2023 (Last updated: last month)
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The Black Book Netflix true story
The Black Book (Credit - Netflix)

Some grudges should be taken to the grave — one of the lines in the The Black Book trailer. Directed and co-written by Editi Effiong, this revenge thriller follows the story of a bereaved deacon, Paul Edima, and a corrupt police force that attacks his son. Due to the themes, the story feels true; however, I soon learned that it’s a work of fiction.

The Netflix movie smacks Death Wish and Taken, and audiences love a good revenge tale, especially when it is against the corruption and privilege of authority. The film is fresh out of Nollywood: the name used here refers to the growing number of films that are made in Nigeria.

The Black Book Has Strong Themes, But It’s Not a True Story

The themes behind the story have led to some wondering if the film was based on real events. With corrupt police forces and morally ambiguous companies, you can see why others and I may have been wondering about the story. However, the film is, in fact, a work of fiction.

Although some ideas here reflect a certain aspect of community, work, corruption, and the manipulation of authority, the film uses these ideas to present its story.

The characters are also fictional and written for the movie.

What is The Black Book about?

At the center of the premise for The Black Book, we have various factions all struggling for control and power over others. The kidnapping of a father and child of a CEO who has been championing the local community kicks the story off.

The kidnapping is blamed on the son of Paul Edima, and the brutal police force summarily executes the innocent man without realizing that their actions are not going to go unnoticed by his father, who has a past that he thought was long buried. In a previous life, Edima had a black book of everything that was going on in the shady circles he operated within, under the employ of General Issa, and that’s where the title of the film comes from.

The arrival of a journalist looking to help Edima find justice for his son drives the plot forward, as the deacon exacts his revenge in an effort to clear his son’s name and deliver justice to the people behind the crime. It’s all a bit complicated, really.

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