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The film "Lagos: Close and Wide" explorers the now commercial and formerly the political capital of one of the Africa's most popular country Nigeria. Produced by Rem Koolhaas an internationally renowned architect and urban designer teaming with documentary filmmaker Bregtje van der Haak they came up with a multilayered video expedition into the city of Lagos. The city of Lagos is currently encompassing about 15 million people hence it is growing rapidly. Taken as one of the developing world cities and as an example the films indicates how Lagos experiences several difficulties as it is the case with other urban cities in developing countries.
The film is organized in a way that it contains several visual and sound elements which the viewer can combine in different ways. The word wide implies the images of the city taken from the middle to long distance perspective. Wide also implies aerial shots and ground level scenes some of which are taken from moving automobiles. The term close on the other hand includes hand held camera work which primarily focuses on the interiors or tight shots of people and activities in Lagos city.
The film offers an impression of the different activities of the city, contrasts the haves and have not's, the cities modern infrastructure, markets, transport and trash heaps panoramas which are seen wide segments of the program. The close mode of the film introduces us to inside reality of the VW-style vans that are the strength of character of the city's public transport. Close in this context introduces us to the traffic that shapes a central feature life in Lagos.
The movie attempts to depict Lagos as a city with a lot of crisis ranging from poverty and violence in the streets. At one point of the movie the impression created is how the cities in developing countries are in one way or the other dysfunction leading to marginalized lives. The most important aspect that is brought about by this film is that Lagos is not anarchic hence it is viewed as capable of undergoing considerable modernization and elasticity. Another important impression created by the film concerns the schema of the city with its interesting creativeness, variable connections, and the flow of life the producers and viewers bump into.
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The film "Lagos: Close and Wide" thus offers a fuller portrait of the metropolis such as churches in the city, informal industries and workshops for recycling industrial refuse such as plastics and metals. The film's photography and commentary also offers an impressionistic mélange, treating topography as a confusion of surroundings. It is also important to notice that the films serve the perspective of anarchic urbanization while at the same time neglecting existing structures and relationships.
From the analysis of the film, it is important to note fr that the majority of the economy in this city is controlled by a few rich individuals. Also the film gives an impression that the markets and transportation system are only managed and controlled by self-governing associations. From the film we can note that the banking sector is controlled by few people because of the existing networks of money lenders and credit circles which meet the Lagos financial needs.
From the film the city of Lagos is seen as hectic and menacing with less of the energy, ingenuity, and uniqueness which are usually knowledgeable by many residents and guests. The film lets the viewer to have a breathing room for analytic debate in one observation but, while in the second time it gives the hypnotizing pound of visual facts which silences all intellectual contemplations. From the film we observe that sometimes, Koolhaas is your guide while at some point one is on his own with only ambient device sound.
In conclusion it is important to note that the film gives an overall picture of how cities in developing world are struggling to cope with the limitations they are facing. From congestion to lack of employment and poor design of the city the film helps the viewers to recognize the significance of institutions and governance in bringing a impression of livability to the cities in developing countries. The film depicts the steady flow of people which implies that people who come to Lagos have high expectations in terms of improving their lives only to realize that they continue to struggle to survive. Though rich in oil the film shows how the marginalized people in Lagos and other West Africa countries do not benefit from the natural resources found in their localities.