Through the stories of Mofe (Jude Akuwudike), an electrician and handyman, and Rosa (Temi Ami-Williams), a hairdresser and bartender, Arie and Chuko Esiri have painted a remarkably textured and heartfelt portrait of what it’s like to live on the colourful streets of Lagos. Mofe and Rosa share both a neighbourhood and a desire to immigrate to Europe. They jump through the numerous hoops involved to achieve their goals, but it is their daily lives and the steady accumulation of quotidian detail—constant money problems, family tragedy, the occasional helping hand of another— that constitutes the film’s heart and soul. Splendidly shot on 35mm by Arseni Khachaturan, 'This Is My Desire' also cleverly balances humanistic naturalism with grace notes of humour and conviviality.
‘"This Is My Desire" is a low-key charmer, but it really delivers as a clear-eyed portrait of a vibrant city, informed by the unfakeable love… of two talented native sons.’—Jessica Kiang, Variety