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Photo still courtesy of Netflix.

'Been So Long' Starring Michaela Coel & Arinzé Kene Is Coming to Netflix Very Soon

Finally!

Netflix's black film vertical Strong Black Lead took to Twitter to announce the release date for Been So Long—a feature-length musical starring the illustrious Michaela Coel and artist to watch Arinzé Kene.


We first got wind of the project being in development last year and it'll finally be available for viewing globally via Netflix on October 26.

Check out the synopsis from Netflix below:

Romance, rage and revenge. 'Been So Long' is a neon soaked, modern day romance set on the streets of London's musical hot-bed of Camden. We follow Simone (Michaela Coel), a dedicated single mother who, on a rare night on the town is charmed by a handsome yet troubled stranger, Raymond (Arinzé Kene), igniting old and new feelings. Set against the backdrop of an ever-changing city, 'Been So Long' is a fresh take on love, life and moving on.

Been So Long is also based on the stage play created by Ché Walker and Arthur Darvill. It's been well-received by critics since its premiere at The Young Vic.

The solid cast for the feature film is rounded out by George Mackay (Gil), Ronke Adekoluejo (Yvonne), Ashley Thomas, Luke Norris, Joe Dempsie, Rakie Ayola and Mya Lewis.

Shadow and Act reports Netflix snagging the global rights to the film is their biggest UK deal yet. The film is supported by the British Film Institute (BFI) and Film4 with Lizzie Francke, Eva Yates, Jane Wright and Indira Guha as the executive producers.

UPDATE 10/01/2018: The trailer for Been So Long is here.

Take a look at a glimpse of the musical feature below.

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Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Image

#EndSARS: 1 Year Later And It's Business As Usual For The Nigerian Government

Thousands filled the streets of Nigeria to remember those slain in The #LekkiTollGateMassacre...while the government insists it didn't happen.

This week marks 1 year since Nigerians began protests against police brutality and demanded an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The #EndSARS protests took the world by storm as we witnessed Nigerian forces abuse, harass and murder those fighting for a free nation. Reports of illegal detention, profiling, extortion, and extrajudicial killings followed the special task force's existence, forcing the government to demolish the unit on October 11th, 2020. However, protestors remained angered and desperate to be heard. It wasn't until October 20th, when soldiers opened fire on demonstrators at Lekki tollgate in the country's capital, Lagos, that the protests came to a fatal end. More than 56 deaths from across the country were reported, while hundreds more were traumatized as the Nigerian government continued to rule by force. The incident sparked global outrage as the Nigerian army refused to acknowledge or admit to firing shots at unarmed protesters in the dead of night.

It's a year later, and nothing has changed.

Young Nigerians claim to still face unnecessary and violent interactions with the police and none of the demands towards systemic changes have been met. Fisayo Soyombo the founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, told Al Jazeera, "Yes, there has not been any reform. Police brutality exists till today," while maintaining that his organization has reported "scores" of cases of police brutality over this past year.

During October 2020's protests, Nigerian authorities turned a blind eye and insisted that the youth-led movement was anti-government and intended to overthrow the administration of current President Muhammadu Buhari. During a press conference on Wednesday, in an attempt to discredit the protests, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed hailed the Nigerian army and police forces for the role they played in the #EndSARS protests, going as far as to say that the Lekki Toll Massacre was a "phantom massacre with no bodies." These brazen claims came while protesters continued to gather in several major cities across the country. The minister even went on to shame CNN, Nigerian favorite DJ Switch as well as Amnesty International, for reporting deaths at Lekki. Mohammed pushed even further by saying, "The six soldiers and 37 policemen who died during the EndSARS protests are human beings with families, even though the human rights organizations and CNN simply ignored their deaths, choosing instead to trumpet a phantom massacre."

With the reports of abuse still coming out of the West African nation, an end to the struggle is not in sight. During Wednesday's protest, a journalist for the Daily Post was detained by Nigerian forces while covering the demonstrations.

According to the BBC, additional police units have been set up in the place of SARS, though some resurfacing SARS officers and allies claim to still be around.

Young Nigerians relied heavily on social media during the protests and returned this year to voice their opinions around the first anniversary of an experience that few will be lucky enough to forget.



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