KFB Movie Review: We need more movies like Stephanie Linus' 'DRY'


When Stephanie Linus' Dry movie bagged several awards at this years' AMVCA, I wondered why but now that I have seen it on Iroko TV, I can't help but commend Stephanie! She deserves all the awards and more! We honestly need more movies like this!! Educative and meaningful. The values this movie withholds such as forgiveness, letting go, a life of purpose can be applied to all other aspects of life.
Story line:

Dr Zara, a successful African doctor living in Wales is determined to stay away from Africa and her horrific childhood experiences. Due to her mother’s illness she is forced to travel to Africa and confront these painful memories. This take her on a journey of intrigue, suspense and unbelievable surprises!


Liz Benson, Hakeem Rahman, Olu Jacobs, Reykia Attah, Stephanie Linus, Zubaida Ibrahim Fagge, Tijani Faraga, Darwin Shaw, Rahama Hassan, Hauwa Maina, Norma Izon
Review proper: 
The film is ironically, but aptly titled Dry; a simple but very deep name for a heart-rending tale.  
Dry is not really about Dr. Zara.

It is about Halima (played by Zubaida Ibrahim Fagge), who is 13 years old and is married off to Sani (Tijani Faraga), a 60 year old man, who constantly rapes her. Immediately after the traditional rites, Sani rapes Halima. She wakes up the next morning and says to one of her co-wives: “Uncle bit me. My body is paining me.”

Halima gets pregnant and suffers Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF), after child delivery. Now, we see her abandoned by her husband and her own father and overly discriminated by the society. They say she smells. They throw things at her in the market. They say she disgusts them. Her co-wives want her out. She is thrown out by her husband and his mother.  This is when Zara Robbins (played by Stephanie Linus) comes into the picture.

For the most part, Dry is excellently made; if the script was different from the actualized story, then it is well understood. Throughout the film, we are transported back and forth: Nigeria and England. The filmmakers may not have known, but an anthropological find shows that these scenes were shot in the countrysides.

The film subtly makes a case for doctors in rural areas.  This is commendable because even in the developed world, health workers in the hinterland are better remunerated than those in urban settings.

Why has the government, at all levels in Nigeria, refused to provide this incentive to doctors, nurses, and other health workers, so that they will be motivated to work in rural areas?  Where there is a semblance of this motivation, it is not enough to attract medical practitioners.
Films like this have the power to disarm wrongdoers, compelling them to have a rethink. One wishes that the film will be popularized in the part of the country and other parts of the continent/the world where child marriage is rife.

Dry is masterly orchestrated. The more you watch, the more you want to know what happens to the characters. There is absolutely nothing the film lacks. Those who don’t like it, do so at their peril. Its cinematography is beautifully patterned and like a journey too far to do, the audience will find themselves longing for the salvation of Halima.

The sound track, background music, lightning and acting were all perfect!
One major flaw of the movie is that VVF is presented as a bed-wetting problem rather than a problem of urinary incontinence?  The audience expected some exposition as to why some young girls escape contracting VVF though they marry as underage children; in the end, it is not every girl involved in child marriage that contacts VVF, though it is impossible to tell who will and who will not just by looking at a girl, a reason every girl must mature enough before getting married or becoming pregnant.
Also, there was a mistake when the lady at the hospital gives a form to Halima and her co-wife who brings her to the hospital for treatment, responds: “You can’t read and write?” They speak impeccable English! How they can’t read and write is so magical and illogical. If a filmmaker’s dream is to take his/her work internationally, what he/she has to do, is to pay attention to details, mostly, language. Linus might have succeeded in executing the project, but maybe, the characters would have communicated well in Hausa or whatever language they are bound to speak. Seeing these Hausa characters meddle in English, at home, was very unreal.
And then, there is also no clear narrative about the details of how Zara was rescued by the white woman who she calls mother. 

In conclusion, Dry is funny and at the same time, sad. But it is a story we will all like for the beauty of its storytelling.

You can watch the trailer below:


  1. Awwwwwwwwwwww

    Thanks a bunch for the review @Kemisola Filani

  2. I didn't find this movie funny at all, it was very say and disheartening. To think that some girls go through this just breaks my heart into a million pieces. I hope the government looks into this and provide a lasting solution.

  3. Reviewer, about the language, it is assumed that they re speaking Hausa an example is all this Telemundo we watch. So you hear English, they re speaking Hausa.


    I LOVE this film, what a brilliant script and direction.
    In regards the language critique, that they speak perfect English but they can't write or read, is perfectly normal and valid. There's a commercial reason, as why this underdeveloped community characters speak perfect English TO SELL THE FILM OUT OF AFRICA. If they wanted to go for the artistic (authentic) route they would had to use a local rural dialect that would had force have the entire film to be in subtitles. I think their commercial choice was right for the film because we want to be interested in the whole plot and character development and most people don't like to read subtitles or by paying close attention, they may missed acting nuances.

    As a Director and Writer, I'm really marveled by this epic drama, and the twist at the third act, was superb. The film led you to believe Hamila is Dr. Zara's younger self through flashbacks and I admit I didn't see coming they were indeed two different people and 10 seconds before the reveal I was "No... no... is the daughter OMG!!!" Is just brilliant. The only thing, looking in retrospect, that I would criticize is that the emotions were always very crontolled. I would had liked a more raw and authentic emotional delivery, you know, ugly crying.


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