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This stunning diptych brings us two street-level stories from contemporary Lagos, both featuring lead characters who hope to eventually emigrate to Europe. In practical terms, this means each must scrape by with multiple jobs and side hustles as they save up money and attempt to navigate Nigeria’s Kafkaesque bureaucracy in pursuit of their goal. But the goalposts keep moving, and both Mofe, a middle-aged electronics repairman, and Rosa, a twentysomething hairdresser and bartender, face obstacles that test just how far they’re willing to go to improve their lives. These situations may be difficult, but first-time twin directors Arie and Chuko Esiri imbue their portrayals with a generosity of spirit and dignified compassion. Rather than directly intersecting, the parallel halves of This Is My Desire rhyme and resonate off each other, creating a deeper overall experience. Adding to the film’s beauty is the vibrant 35mm photography, which shows off the colors and patterns of Lagosian life. "Gorgeous. A formally and stylistically impressive film that gives fascinating insights into the society of the sprawling conurbation of Lagos. This Is My Desire is a powerful film and well worth seeking out” (Kristin Thompson). (MK)


Presented with support from UW-Madison Department of African Cultural Studies.


  • Year
    2020
  • Runtime
    110 minutes
  • Country
    Nigeria
  • Director
    Arie Esiri, Chuko Esiri
  • Screenwriter
    Chuko Esiri
  • Producer
    Melissa Adeyemo, Arie Esiri, Chuko Esiri
  • Cast
    Tomiwa Edun, Jude Akuwudike, Cynthia Ebijie, Temiloluwa Ami-Williams
  • Cinematographer
    Arseni Khachaturan
  • Editor
    Andrew Stephen Lee
  • Music
    Akin Adebowale