Breath of Life (2023) Movie Script

[gentle music continues]
[Narrator] When people
ask me how old I am, I say,
I am older than the oldest
person you ever met.
But this story is not about me.
I am going to tell you about my father.
Scientists say that the average
person can take enough air
into their lungs to stay
underwater without a breath
for about two minutes,
but there was nothing average about Timi.
[water splashing]
[gentle music continues]
[clock ticking]
In fact, the Guinness Book of Records say
that the longest a man
has ever stayed underwater
holding his breath was for
24 minutes, 36 seconds.
They were wrong.
[gentle music continues]
Timi was special.
He spoke 16 languages,
four of which were extinct.
For fun, he would rewrite holy
books in different languages.
[waves whooshing]
Timi didn't just graduate top
of his class in Cambridge.
He was the highest-honored cadet
in his entry class of Her Majesty's Navy.
He was also one of the youngest people
to ever become a member of clergy
in the great Church of England.
[gentle music continues]
[clock ticking]
When the coach asked him if he came up
because he finally ran out of air,
Timi simply said he was bored down there.
[gentle music continues]
On July the 3rd, 1953,
Ayodele Timilehin Johnson
held his breath underwater
for 57 minutes and 18 seconds.
[gentle music continues]
[bright music]
[birds chirping]
Reverend Timi was now a wealthy man.
He was the only child of one
of the most successful shipping traders
in the Western region.
He never knew his mother.
She died of tuberculosis
when he was a baby,
and now his father was gone too.
[bright music continues]
[bright music continues]
[horn honking]
By the time Reverend Timi returned home,
he came with his wife Bridgette,
who he had met at Cambridge
and their beautiful baby girl, Alison.
[soft music]
This was his family now, and
it meant the world to him.
Reverend Timi got right to what he loved.
He got familiar with the
town and fixed up the church.
[choral music]
Everyone loved them, and
the church grew immediately.
In fact, even though he wasn't
the highest clergyman in the country,
he was asked to pray
for Princess Alexandra
on the evening of independence.
[soft music]
[Announcer] The
Reverend Timi Johnson ma'am
[solemn piano music]
Shall we pray?
[Narrator] Rumour has it
that she asked for him by name.
Heavenly Father, hallowed
be thy almighty name,
we thank you for, indeed,
your kingdom has come today.
[solemn piano music continues]
[birds chirping]
[people chattering]
[gentle music]
[fire whooshing]
[gentle music continues]
[Narrator] You might say
that for Reverend Timi,
life was perfect,
but you would have
spoken to soon.
[fire whooshing]
Different gangs operated
in the big cities,
but the Baby Fire Gang was notorious
for terrorising small towns.
And now they were here.
[engine revving]
[dramatic music]
Baby Fire himself was
the devil's own child.
He loved nothing more
than to see things burn.
He'll tell his gang that this world
was just a bus stop on his way to hell.
[motorcycles rumbling]
[tense music]
[people chattering]
[tense music continues]
[motorcycles rumbling]
[guns firing]
[people shouting]
[tense music continues]
[motorcycles rumbling]
[tense music continues]
[tense music continues]
[Baby Fire shouting]
[guns firing]
[tense music continues]
[motorcycles rumbling]
[guns firing]
[tense music continues]
[tense music continues]
We cannot do anything
if no one is willing to name the culprit.
But why?
Everybody knows it's
Baby Fire and his gang.
Will you keep quiet?
You want to tell the magistrate
so that Baby Fire can
kill us in the street?
Like he killed our Ajeronmi.
Why don't you police
look for him and kill him?
If it was a white man that he killed,
he would be hanging by now.
Without any eye witness,
what will I say I'm arresting him for?
Why don't you say that you
saw him with your own eyes?
After all, it happened in broad daylight.
I'll swear it to the magistrate.
[Bridgette gasps]
I saw him.
I'll swear it in court.
[sombre music]
[Narrator] That night,
the Reverend and his wife
fought like they had never before.
I can't believe that you
would do this to the family.
[Narrator] She went
from anger to begging.
Please, I'm begging, please!
[Narrator] And back to anger.
She couldn't understand
why he would want to put
himself in such danger.
He knew it was dangerous, but
he believed he had a purpose.
And maybe this was it.
[people chattering]
[car rumbling]
[people chattering]
- [gavel rapping]
- Order!
Order in court!
I have only one question, Reverend.
Do you see the man who killed Mr Ajeronmi
on November the 14th in this court today?
That's him right there.
[ominous music]
[Baby Fire screaming]
Order, order, order!
[people shouting]
[ominous music continues]
[Narrator] What no one
knew was that Baby Fire
was employed and paid
by leftover colonials
who used him to exterminate
troublesome elements,
people like Ajeronmi
who called for all whites
to return to their countries.
And so, right there,
two white men made the most
important decision in our story.
It is the decision
of Her Majesty's court
that there is insufficient
evidence to prosecute this man.
The accused is therefore free to go.
[people shouting]
[ominous music continues]
[Timi] You be a good
girl for mummy, okay?
Do everything she says.
See you soon.
Come with us.
I start all this
trouble, then I just leave?
They'll terrorise this town.
You're not a soldier anymore.
And they have machine guns.
What are you going to do?
Who needs guns when you've got God?
It's not funny, Timi.
I'm sorry.
I just need to get a
few people out of here
and I'll be right behind you, I promise.
You'll be safe in Lagos.
[gentle piano music]
I didn't marry a martyr.
You better come back to me.
[gentle piano music continues]
Yes, Mrs. Johnson.
Come on.
[gentle piano music continues]
[gentle piano music continues]
Thanks for doing this.
[gentle piano music continues]
[car rumbling]
[soft music]
[soft music continues]
[dramatic music]
Mom, what's that?
Mr. Williams, I think you
should turn the car around.
Turn the car around!
Turn the car around!
[gun firing]
[dramatic music continues]
[metal rustling]
Mr. Williams, turn the car around.
[dramatic music continues]
[Bridgette screams]
[dramatic music continues]
[gun firing]
[Bridgette screams]
[Alison screams]
[motorcycles roaring]
[dramatic music continues]
[dramatic music continues]
[dramatic music continues]
[Timi grunting]
[dramatic music continues]
Mommy, what are they doing?
It's a game, sweetie.
Look at Mummy, all right?
I love you.
It's just a game.
[sombre music]
[Alison] I am scared.
Oh, don't be scared.
Don't be scared.
It's hide and seek.
Will Daddy find us?
[sombre music continues]
[Baby Fire screaming]
[dress tearing]
[lighter clicks]
[sombre music continues]
[fire whooshing]
[Timi screaming]
[sombre music]
[Timi crying]
[motorcycles roaring]
[sombre music]
[fire crackling]
[sombre music continues]
[sombre music continues]
[Narrator] Over the next nine days,
Reverend Timi just laid there.
Everyone tried to help.
They removed the car,
brought food and flowers,
but the Reverend just laid there.
Come rain or shine, day or night,
he'd just lay there.
[music continues]
[Bridgette] Get up.
[Narrator] And then,
one day, he just got up.
[music continues]
He was going to do what God wouldn't.
After all, who needs God
when you have guns?
[dramatic music]
[dog barking]
[lighter clicking]
[tense music]
[lighter clicking]
[tense music]
[lighter clicking]
[bullets clattering]
[tense music continues]
You are not a killer.
[tense music continues]
[gun firing]
[soft music]
[Narrator] Timi knew that
everyone would just assume
that Baby Fire mistakenly
lit the house on fire.
So he sent him on his way.
[fire burning]
No more bus stops.
[Timi gasping]
[Timi grunts]
[gun clicks]
[Timi sighs]
[gun firing]
[Timi gasping]
[tense music]
[Timi panting]
[gun clicking]
[tense music continues]
Over the next few weeks,
Timi tried to kill himself
in the most ridiculous ways.
[tense music continues]
[tense music continues]
Clearly unsure of how much bleach it takes
to kill a man who just wouldn't die,
he decided to take no chances.
[tense music continues]
[Timi splutters]
[tense music continues]
All Timi wanted was to be with his family,
and he wanted it right away.
[gentle music]
[gentle music continues]
[Timi crying]
[gentle music continues]
[insects chirring]
[sombre music]
By the time I would come to know Mr. Timi,
he was an old man.
He had just buried his butler,
the only real family he had left.
And now he was going to
need help around the house.
[sombre music]
I had just finished my NYSC
and couldn't find a job
in Lagos or anywhere else.
[sombre music continues]
[sombre music continues]
What I really wanted, was
to start my own church.
But first I needed money.
[sombre music continues]
[gun firing]
Like many before me,
I had been told there was
an opening for a houseboy
that paid very well,
if I could handle the job.
[gun firing]
Let's just say they
weren't cut out for it.
[bike rattling]
[wind blowing]
Are you a thief?
[ominous music]
Speak, boy!
Are you deaf?
[ominous music continues]
[inhaler whooshes]
No, sir.
So, are you a thief?
No, I am not.
So why will you come
into a house uninvited?
Good day sir, my...
[stammering] I'm here for
the job of a houseboy.
Yes, sir.
I'm actually more of a house manager.
My name is Elijah.
Elijah Odudu-Abasi Okon.
[Timi grunts]
I erm...
I printed out my CV to show you
that I'm very qualified, sir.
[Timi grunts]
Please, sir.
I'll do everything.
I'll cook, clean, run all your errands,
do anything to bring
this great house of God
back to its glory.
[eerie music]
[gun cocking]
If you ever say that
name in this house again,
it will be the last name that you speak.
[tense music]
Are we clear?
Yes sir.
my Ibibio name means
"God's power".
Do I have to go outside to say that?
[tense music]
[goofy music]
[Timi chuckles]
I have breakfast at 8:00 a.m. sharp.
Three eggs and a coffee.
You move your things into that
room at the end of the hall.
Sir, does that mean I have the job?
For a house manager, you're
not very smart, are you?
No, sir.
I mean, yes, sir.
Thank you so much, sir.
Thank you, sir.
[Elijah laughing]
[soft music]
[uplifting music]
[clock ticking]
Morning, sir.
[Timi grunts]
[clock ticking]
[clock ticking continues]
[goofy music]
[goofy music continues]
There's too much salt!
Are you trying to kill me?
[plate clatters]
[heavy breathing]
What are you waiting for?
Three eggs and a coffee!
[dramatic music]
[dramatic music continues]
No taste!
Are you daft?
[plates clattering]
[goofy music]
[tense music]
[tense music]
[Narrator] It took me
16 tries and 3 hours
to learn how to make
omelettes for Mr. Timi.
[sigh of relief]
[upbeat music]
[sombre music]
[Narrator] I don't know
why I sat down that night
or if it meant anything to Mr Timi.
I never knew his family,
but I didn't think you needed
to know someone's pain to share it.
So every night when I closed up the house,
we would just sit,
him inside, me outside,
and just cry for a while.
[sombre music continues]
[Elijah rasping]
[Elijah rasping]
[inhaler hissing]
[Elijah rasping]
[Elijah rasping]
Good afternoon, sir.
Hello, you must be Elijah.
Yes, sir.
We have not been properly introduced.
Yes, sir.
You were in a hurry when you first came.
Oh, quite so, quite so.
He does not like any tardiness at all.
Yes, as you will have found out yourself.
Breakfast has to be ready yet 8:00 a.m.
or there's going to be trouble.
Ah, yes.
Once a soldier, I guess.
Well, I'm Mr. Coker, Mr. Johnson's lawyer.
Yeah, I handle his estate.
Yes, which means I'll be
paying you your salary
and any other funds that you might need
to run the household from now on.
Thank you, thank you, sir.
I have been using the little money I have
all these while.
He likes people to
take the initiative, yes.
Now, don't be afraid of him.
He doesn't bite.
I don't know.
Maybe there's something
I'm not doing right,
but Reverend Timi seems
to get upset all the time.
What did you just call him?
[tense music]
Who told you to call him that?
Whatever you do, do not talk about family.
Do not, definitely do not, talk about God.
The fact that you're still
here means that he likes you.
- Okay sir.
- Okay.
All right, thank you very much, sir.
All right, have a nice day, sir.
[door thuds]
[bright music]
[door rattle]
In my free time, I would
sneak off to the old church
and begin to fix it up, too.
I knew Mr. Timi wouldn't like it,
especially since I used part
of the money for the house.
I had it all planned out.
I would have one hour
Bible study once a week
when Mr. Timi was taking his siesta.
He didn't talk to anyone in the town
so he didn't have to know.
[bright music continues]
[bright music]
[traffic passing]
[bright music]
[Narrator] That weekend,
I went to the local clinic
to get a new inhaler.
And that's when I saw
the most beautiful thing.
Her name was Anna.
She was a volunteer,
[pidgin] God did an amazing job on her.
[gentle music]
I hope you like the food.
[patient] Ah, Pastor, too sweet.
Thank you very much.
It's not that sweet.
[Elijah laughs]
Thank God.
[patient] Pastor, you really try for us,
so God bless you.
- Amen.
- Amen.
Thank God.
[patient] Are you sure there's nothing
you want us to do for you?
[Elijah exhaling]
[light music]
[patient] Nurse Anna, right?
Oh, just Anna, I'm just a volunteer.
[patient] Hehen,
I knew you were a good person.
By the way,
have you been to the Bible
study at the town church?
Bible study?
- [patient] Yes.
- No I haven't.
[patient] Ah, you must go.
[patient] My Spirit said you must go.
This is the Bible study flyer.
Thank you.
[patient] You're welcome.
[light music]
[mumbled conversation]
Have you heard anything
about a Bible study in church?
Then how come every
patient is asking me to go?
Good afternoon Ma.
[pidgin] Bible study has finished.
Oh, I know, I was late so
I didn't want to interrupt.
[pidgin] Late to the church
is late to life.
[yoruba] what are you looking for?
[pidgin] You want to see him right?
[pidgin] okay go see him.
Thank you ma.
[Elijah] Dear God, I don't ask for much.
Please don't let this asthma fall my hand.
I'm Anna.
But I think you knew that already.
[Elijah] Shit, shit, shit.
I mean, not shit.
I mean crap.
[Elijah rasping]
Oh, fuck it.
[Elijah exhales]
I am Elijah.
Well Elijah, I got your
message, all 37 of them.
Oh, I didn't know all
of them would give you.
I hope that's still
charming and not creepy.
I dunno yet. You're quite odd.
Uhm, yeah. No, no.
It's my asthma.
It flares up whenever I am around.
B... b... b...
When you are around?
Proverbs 31:3.
"Give not thy strength unto women
or thy ways to them
that destroyeth kings."
So I have the power to destroy kings?
I am sure you do.
But I don't really do the Bible thing.
I just wanted to say hi.
Well, this king destroyer
needs to get back home.
Will, will, will I see uhm...
Will we see you again?
Will you like to see me again?
Very much.
I mean, yeah, sure.
It's the house of God and in His presence
there's [clearing throat]
liberty and joy forevermore.
Well, maybe you should walk me home.
[romantic music]
[romantic music continues]
[romantic music continues]
[Elijah] So when you're not
volunteering at the hospital,
what do you do?
I don't know yet.
Well, I just got back from school
so I guess I'm just figuring it out.
Mm hmm.
So church, is that all you do?
I think I should let you know that I work
at Mr. Timi's house as the house boy.
Well, from what I've heard,
you're more like the house manager.
Nothing gets done
in that place without you.
How did you know?
The whole town.
What, you don't think I did my research?
How many young people are in this town,
and you didn't think
I'm going to ask about
the handsome guy running the church?
Oh, you think I'm handsome?
You better relax before
you need your inhaler again.
[Elijah chuckles]
[soft romantic music]
You're welcome.
Actually, I think
everyone's rather impressed
that you got the job.
Even my dad, although he
would never admit it, but
he's intrigued by you guys
and what happens in that house.
It's just the two of you, right?
My dad said he went crazy
when he lost his family,
doesn't go anywhere,
doesn't talk to anyone.
He's not crazy.
He's actually funny and he
could be really friendly.
He just misses his family
and sometimes cries
whenever he thinks about them.
I think that's beautiful.
I uhm, we need to stop here.
My house is just right there.
Okay. [clearing throat]
Do you want to meet me at the
river tomorrow, say 4:00 p.m.?
Maybe is not no.
[soft piano music]
Goodnight, Elijah.
[soft piano music]
I don't think I slept a wink that night.
I must have ironed my
trousers like four times.
Is this for me?
Why are you dressed like that?
[Elijah] Is she mad?
This is my best shirt.
Dressed like what?
Like you are going to church
when you're coming to swim.
Uhm, Swim?
I didn't say swim.
But I thought you wanted
to meet at the river.
[Elijah rasping]
[inhaler hissing]
You want to swim?
[soft piano music]
I didn't know whether
it was her bathing suit
or her confidence,
but I knew right there I
was going to marry her.
[soft piano music]
Are you coming?
[Elijah] It took two months
before I could put my head underwater,
and another three months
before I could swim properly.
[soft piano music]
I had seen her almost every
day for the last six months.
I think it was safe to
say she was my girlfriend.
[soft piano music]
She even made it to a few Bible studies.
[soft orchestral music]
Although I'm not sure if
the word penetrated much.
[bright music]
Her father could have
bought her a brand new BMW,
but she bought a bicycle
instead, just to ride with me.
[bright music]
[bright music continues]
[bright music continues]
So let's go back to Psalm 55.
[Door swings]
"No one who practises
deceit will dwell in my house.
No one who speaks falsely
will stand in my presence."
Psalm 101.
Yes. Psalm 101.
"For such people do not
serve the Lord Christ,
but instead they follow
their own appetites
with smooth talk and flattery.
They deceive the minds of naive people."
Ah, well that is in the book of Romans.
Even me, I know that one.
Sir, I thought you would still
be asleep till 4:00 p.m. sir.
I have done everything I was... [muffled]
"See to it that you are not taken captive
through deceptive and a hollow philosophy,
which depends on human traditions
and the elemental spiritual
forces of this world."
"Rather than Christ."
You said you didn't want
to hear anything about God.
So I couldn't tell you, sir.
I don't have a day off, sir.
So, I do everything else of mine
only when you take your siesta.
If you don't like the
job, then get the hell out!
"You shall not oppress a hired servant
who is poor and needy,
whether he be one of your countryman
or an alien who is on
your land, in your town.
You shall give him his wages
and his time before sunset.
'Cause he's poor and sets his hearts on it
so that he will not pray
to the Lord against you
and it be sin in you"
You think you've been
sent by the Lord, hmm?
To teach these people,
minister to His flock.
Oh, you think you are
worthy of His message?
"Give careful thought to your ways.
You have planted much,
but harvest little.
You eat but never have enough.
You drink, but never have your fill.
You put on clothes but you are not warm.
You earn wages only
to put them in a purse
with holes in it"
If by breakfast tomorrow morning
you can tell me what verse that is,
then once a week I will let you pretend
that you are not just a house boy.
[tense music]
[Mama Ayo] Sorry.
[tense music continues]
[inhaler hisses]
It took all night, but I
found that damn Bible verse.
[piano music]
Good morning, sir.
[Timi grunts]
[solemn piano music]
[solemn piano music continues]
[solemn piano music continues]
[slamming cover]
[plate shattering]
[thunder rumbling]
[rain falling]
[tense music]
[solemn piano music]
[solemn piano music continues]
[solemn piano music continues]
[solemn piano music continues]
[solemn piano music continues]
[family laughing]
[drink pouring]
[solemn piano music continues]
[solemn piano music continues]
[solemn piano music continues]
[solemn piano music continues]
[thunder rumbling]
[loud music]
[Timi] Boy?
[loud music continues]
I've been shouting your name.
Good morning, sir.
What the hell is going on here?
So sorry sir. I didn't hear you call me.
Rain fell on your newspaper,
so I thought I iron them
before breakfast, sir.
I broke my glasses last night
so I can't read it anyway.
I can, rea... rea...[rasping]
I can read them for you, sir.
Not if you can't breathe, you can't.
I... I... I... I can sir.
Well fine.
What is that?
And where's your inhaler?
Only one of us is allowed
to die in this house,
and that's me.
I'll kill you if you die before me.
Yeah, it's after seven.
Hurry up.
Yes sir.
[Elijah] For the decentralisation
of health policy.
Ah, he's an idiot.
Didn't they say at the
last ECOWAS meeting
that Nigeria has to
devolve centralized power?
[Elijah] This was the best
thing that had happened to me
in the nine months working with Mr. Timi.
It was the first time I was sitting down
when he was in the room.
And even better,
I could hear him think. From that day on,
I read to him every day at
breakfast and I learned so much.
So I started ordering more papers.
He didn't mind as long as
there was enough coffee.
He would sit there till lunchtime,
and talk more about Nigeria.
[uplifting music]
Then I added magazines, Time
magazines, business magazines.
Even the gossip ones.
He just wanted to talk
and I wanted to learn.
Soon he was telling stories
about other countries he had been to,
and things he had seen
when he was younger.
[uplifting music continues]
Anna wanted to meet Mr. Timi.
Anna was getting
impatient with my excuses.
She kept saying one day she
would just knock on that door.
First problem was that she did knock.
[knocking on door]
Bigger problem...
[knocking on door]
was that she knocked when I
went to buy Mr. Timi some eggs.
[knocking on door]
Third problem.
Good morning, sir,
I'm Anna Amachree.
I don't care.
[door slamming]
[soft piano music]
[pounding on door]
[tense music]
[cocking gun]
[high-tension music]
[Anna gasping]
[Timi grunts]
[eggs splatter]
[Elijah rasps]
[gentle music]
A few days later,
she convinced me that since
she had already met Mr. Timi,
he wouldn't mind her coming around.
[Timi clears throat]
[Elijah rasps]
[soft music]
[inhaler hissing]
Excuse me.
- She was right.
- [pensive music]
[both laughing]
She would help me with everything
so I could get done quicker
and we could spend more time together.
It had been many months,
and I knew she wanted more.
I did too.
But she respected my faith,
which only made me love her
more, and then want her more.
I was going quite mad.
[gentle piano music]
[gentle piano music continues]
[gentle piano music continues]
[projector whirring]
[Timi] How dare you! You ever come...
[dramatic music]
[dramatic music]
[solemn music]
[solemn music continues]
[solemn music continues]
I want to watch all this.
Can we set it up?
Sir, you can't watch it like this.
We have to take it to Lagos
to be put on a film projector
and that might take almost a month.
A month?
No, no, no.
There must be something we can do.
Maybe we can get a different projector.
Then that's what we will do.
Me and you?
Yes, you and I, you can drive us there.
[Elijah rasping]
[inhaler hissing]
What's wrong?
I, I can't drive sir.
You can't drive?
Yes sir.
You can't drive.
Meet me outside now.
Okay, sir.
[Timi] Can't drive.
[car trying to start]
Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah.
You have to ensure you know everything
about a car before you start using it.
Just like a woman.
You have to be delicate.
[Elijah] It started off great.
Right now, no, put it in first gear.
Clutch down, put it in first gear.
It was all downhill from there.
First gear.
Look, are you daft?
Put it in first gear, even
an imbecile can do that.
I'm trying Mr. Timi.
Clutch down and put it into first gear.
- Do I...?
- Will you just do it?
[car starting]
What the bloody hell?
Do you wanna spoil the car? Is that it?
No. No.
It's just that.
Mr. Timi was
the worst teacher ever.
[car starting]
[Elijah] After the
shouting came the hitting.
Look, just get it right.
Are you an idiot? Put
it in first gear, now.
No, that's not it.
Get away.
Clutch down. Clutch down.
[car starting]
Stupido. Idiota.
[speaking in foreign language]
Damn it. Listen, drive.
Drive this car,
or I will kill you if
you don't drive this car.
Drive it.
I'm trying sir.
Clutch down and put it in first gear.
Are you stupid? Drive it.
[car starting]
Oh God.
[car engine starts]
Clutch down and drive it.
[soft music]
- Drive.
- It's moving.
It's moving.
You're doing it boy, you're moving it,
you're not useless after all.
Should I stop?
No no, are you crazy, don't stop.
Clutch down and put it into gear two.
You're doing it boy!
You're doing it.
It's moving sir.
Yes, it's moving.
It's moving sir.
Yes, yes!
[soft piano music continues]
Go on.
So, you and Anna,
how does your friend
up there feel about that?
Oh, we haven't done anything.
You've been together for
a year and you haven't.
- [Elijah] Mr Timi.
- [Timi laughing]
It's not funny, sir.
Okay, okay, okay.
You love her?
Very much.
I want to marry her.
I... I... I can't.
Now why don't you want to do more?
Is it because the Bible says it's bad?
Well, the Bible does say it...
Will you shut up about that?
If you love her, wanna spend
the rest of your life with her,
who cares what some
3000 year old book says?
[soft piano music]
Bridgette was the only
woman I was ever with.
You know, we waited until we got married.
That night was...
But we decided together.
Talk to Anna. Tell her how you feel.
I want to.
I mean, it's all I think
about, but I know it's wrong.
Oh for God's sakes, man.
I'm not talking about
what you think God wants from you.
I'm talking about how you feel in here.
What's the matter with you?
You called His name.
Twice, God.
Did I?
Yes. Yes.
You called God two times
Mr. Timi. [laughing]
You called God two times.
[Elijah laughing]
He called God, twice.
- Twice.
- All right.
You called...
Are you okay?
Are you going to start a church now
in the middle of nowhere?
You said God, twice.
You did.
[Timi] See you at home.
[Elijah] Wait, wait.
[soft orchestral music]
[Timi] Winner indeed.
[Elijah] Lagos had sent
the projector to us.
And Mr. Timi's evening ritual changed.
He didn't sit in a room and cry anymore.
Instead, he watched videos
of his wife and daughter
and he would tell us stories of that time.
It typically made Anna cry,
but at least now he was happy
when he thought of his family.
[romantic orchestral music]
Anna, your eggs are much
better than his, by the way.
Thank you, Mr. Johnson.
So, Elijah...
[cutlery clanking]
what's the matter?
[Elijah] It was the first
time he didn't call me, boy.
After over a year of living with Mr. Timi.
Nothing sir.
He called my name.
If you don't know how to drive.
How were you getting into town every day?
I could show you, sir.
[Anna] No.
I insist.
Maybe it was because
he knew he couldn't die.
Or maybe for the first time
in years he just felt free.
Mr. Timi was finding a
reason to live again.
[uplifting music]
Four eggs.
[Elijah rasps]
What do you want?
Come on, come on, come on out with it.
I wanna get to my papers.
[Elijah inhales]
Uhm, I...
I wanted to ask for a neck tie.
What do you want a neck tie for?
You have another job that you're going to.
Oh, no sir.
Anna has invited me to her house for lunch
to meet her parents.
And I would like to make
a good impression, sir.
Anyway, I'll think about it.
Thank you, sir.
The news is not gonna read itself.
Oh, of course.
[soft music]
Sir, do you need anything sir?
[bright music]
Now this...
this says you can achieve anything
that you put your mind to.
This says you belong here.
So, what do you want to say?
[bright music]
[bright music continues]
[Anna] I love your tie.
Nice touch.
Thank you.
[Elijah and Anna laugh]
Good day ma'am.
He'll soon be here Elijah,
Sorry for the wait.
Oh no.
It's a luxury to be able to wait
in your beautiful home, ma'am.
So, you both have been
spending a lot of time together.
Not that much time, Mum.
Every day is not so much?
Anna's very special, ma'am.
And I thank God that He
finds me fit to be able
to walk this journey with
someone who I learned from.
And I pray that she finds
value in this journey as well.
Oh my. [laughing]
What a response. [laughing]
I told you he was great.
Oh, Dad's here.
[Anna] Breathe, he's going to love you.
She's her daddy's girl.
But, I'm sure you'll get along.
So what work do you do?
I manage the home for
the Johnson's estate.
Hmm, what Johnson?
[Elijah] Mr. Timi Johnson.
Timi Johnson.
What home?
The one here in town?
Yes ma'am, I'm the house manager.
Are you the young man trying
to start a local church?
Oh yes, ma'am.
Actually it's just Bible study for now.
We hope to expand to
full blown service soon.
Dear God.
[Anna] Daddy, meet Elijah.
[Mother] He is the house
manager for Timi Johnson.
[tense music]
Good day, sir.
I didn't know you were Anna's father.
I sent you a letter, sir.
Now look here boy.
I think you better start going right now.
Get out.
[tense music]
Thank you very much ma'am,
for having me in your beautiful home.
I have to take my leave now.
It was a pleasure, sir.
[Anna] What?
I'm so sorry Anna,
something urgent just came in,
I need to attend to.
Elijah, Elijah, wait.
Come back here.
I need to talk to you right now.
Sit down.
[tense music]
[local Nigerian language]
This is what you have been
encouraging her to do.
Bring a house boy into my house.
[Anna] Dad, he's a house manager.
Will you shut up!
That is the little rat
that is trying to stop the hotel project.
Now listen, he must never set
foot into this house again.
[local Nigerian language]
[local Nigerian language]
You must not see him again.
You're the one trying
to destroy the church?
[Chief Amachree] You will not see
that house boy again.
Dad, I'm 23 years old.
You can't tell me who
I can and cannot see.
Don't test me, Anna.
[Elijah] My church and my girl.
The two things I care about the most,
in the hands of one man.
A man who didn't respect God
much less a house boy.
No matter what neck-tie he wears.
[sombre music]
[sombre music continues]
[door slams open]
[tense music]
What are you people doing here?
Do you realise this is private property?
Good day, sir.
Sorry sir, I mean no trouble.
So why are you here?
This is private property.
Actually sir, it belongs to the state,
and by proxy the community.
And I have written
letter to the state house
to give us permission to use it
as venue for
church services and Bible study.
Honestly sir, I mean no
disrespect whatsoever.
That is why I also wrote you a letter
to please reconsider
your plans of demolition.
And I attached the state response with it.
Of course I received your
senseless and stupid letter.
What the state did not tell you
is that there is an unpaid land use charge
on this land,
which is older than you or even
any one of you seated here.
It has accrued interest
to the tune of 49 million
naira, which I have paid.
In essence,
this land belongs to me,
and by proxy, the building.
[people exclaim]
[Elijah rasping]
[sombre music]
Except you can pay me in 90 days.
You will quit this foolishness
that you are doing here.
Do you not fear God sir?
My God has money.
Our God has money, too.
Not 49,000,000.
90 days boy.
90 days.
[tense music]
[Elijah rasping]
[tense music continues]
[running stream]
[soft piano music]
I didn't know. [crying]
- I didn't know.
- I know.
I'm sorry I couldn't
make it here last week.
My dad has been watching me like a hawk.
I wasn't sure you would come.
I can't believe my dad is
trying to destroy the church.
We have to stop him.
But how?
I don't know.
He won't even listen to me.
Well, I'm sure he won't.
Not after he has invested
49 million naira into it.
He came to Bible study yesterday.
To threaten you.
Actually he made an offer.
If I can come up with his
49 million naira in 90 days,
he'll let the building go.
But he knows that we can't, so.
Says who?
What if we raise it?
People do it all the time.
Anna, look around you,
not in a place like this.
Every kobo counts, so we have to try.
[soft music]
There's one person.
[Anna] Elijah, please.
Anna, no.
[soft music]
My dad is a businessman, right?
What if we show him a
business plan for the church?
You know, tithes,
offerings, merchandise, camps.
Show him that the church
can really be profitable
if you're partners.
Anna, stop.
What are you talking about?
This is not some business venture for me.
This is what I'm supposed
to do with my life.
I know my love.
I'm just trying to suggest something.
You can't give up.
Did you just call me your love?
It's just an expression.
But this isn't.
[soft piano music]
Anna Amachree...
[soft piano music]
I love you.
[romantic piano music]
[upbeat music]
[door slams]
[upbeat music continues]
[Timi] Hello.
How are you?
Listen, I want all the legal
books that you can find
on colonial real estate.
Yeah. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, by morning.
Okay, thank you.
[pensive music]
[pensive music continues]
Thank you Elijah, thank you.
Well, son...
really very sorry...
but I almost got sacked in
there for bringing it up at all.
How can he say no?
We only have two weeks left.
Well, it's not all bad news.
He's agreed to let you have
one year salary in advance.
That's barely half a million.
Plus whatever
her mother is giving, yes?
And of course I'm happy to
throw in a million of my own.
That's really kind of
you sir, I appreciate.
And that would get us to five million
and we still need to get up to 49 million.
[sad piano music]
on this one...
alea iacta est.
[there's no stopping this]
Thank you very much sir for even trying.
[sad piano music]
It is just me.
Elijah is far too kind
to ask you directly.
I can't believe you
won't give him the money.
What kind of a man are you?
This doesn't concern you, young lady.
Elijah has dedicated his life to you.
He does everything for you.
Let's not mention how his salary in a year
is barely enough to replace
his bicycle, but that's Elijah.
He doesn't want more money for a fancy car
or a house of his own.
He wants money to save a church.
A church that by the way
you built and pastored.
From what I've heard,
50 million naira is a drop
in the bucket for you.
By the looks of things
you're not using your money.
So what do you want?
What do you want from him?
Why wouldn't you help him?
How can someone be so cruel?
You say you love your family,
and that you miss them.
But I don't think so,
because I don't know how
somebody so heartless
- could love anybody.
- [Elijah] Anna!
I'm so sorry, sir.
[sombre orchestral music]
Anna, what is wrong with you?
Well, you were clearly
never going to say anything.
Then you thought that you should?
How do you feel if I came by your house
said insulting your father?
He's not your father.
Isn't this proof of that?
You don't know him.
You don't know what that
man has been through.
Oh please, that was half a century ago.
It's not an excuse to lock yourself away
and act like you're not a human being.
Anna please, just stay out of this.
You think you're helping,
but you are only making things worse.
I'm making things worse?
I'm the only one doing anything.
my dad is going to demolish
the church in two weeks.
How much money have you raised?
Money, money, money, money.
That's all people with
money ever think about.
You think I care about money?
If I cared about money
what the hell would I
be doing with someone...
[tense music]
What would you be doing
with someone like me?
[tense music]
It's true what they say,
the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
Your father does love money.
We need to sell the church for 49 million.
I wonder how much he'd
sell his own daughter?
[Anna slapping]
[Anna crying]
[sombre music]
[sombre music continues]
[sombre music continues]
[pensive piano music]
[pensive piano music continues]
[soft piano music]
[Anna sobs]
[soft piano music continues]
[soft piano music continues]
[soft piano music continues]
[soft piano music continues]
[soft piano music continues]
[tea pouring]
[soft piano music fading]
- Sir.
- Hmm?
We have organised a protest
against the church demolition tomorrow.
I would make sure your breakfast is ready.
I would love to attend it if that is okay.
You know...
in the late 20s when the
Aba women used to protest.
They burnt down all the colonial
structures in their town,
including the Barclay's Bank,
post office and even the magistrate court.
But they left the church.
Why would anyone want
to burn down a church?
they would have,
but they didn't know that
it belonged to the British.
They gave it to the locals, the Europeans.
And of course they didn't
use it, unlike the bank,
post office, court, et cetera.
But the land and the
building always and still
belongs to Her Majesty's government.
It seems the British
government did the same
in small towns across the south,
including this one.
[bright piano music]
I wonder what a good lawyer
like Coker will make of that.
Probably tell his friend in
the British High Commission.
Maybe I'll give him a call.
[soft music]
I will take my coffee in the study.
[Elijah chuckles excitedly]
Nice eggs, today.
Thank you, sir.
[pensive piano music]
[knocking on door]
[pounding on door]
Mummy, open this door!
Open this door!
Let me out, let me out.
Open this door.
Open this door, open this
door, open this door!
[Anna crying]
Let me out!
[siren sounding]
[Chief Amachree] Come, come, come.
Know who has power.
[church members scramble away]
Just go, just go.
Yes, get them out from here.
[villagers shouting]
[sombre music]
[Officer] You got 10 seconds
to get away from there, boy.
Go on break it.
[Caterpillar rumbling]
Stop, stop.
Who is this?
I'm from the British High Commission.
I have a stay document
from Lagos High Court,
the federal government of Nigeria,
and Her Majesty's government,
that this building is not to be destroyed.
No, you cannot do that.
You cannot do that.
I paid the levies for this building.
It is now private property.
You can't, you can't do that.
Oh yes we can.
This was your building, temporarily.
But it is now a national monument,
a museum, to be enjoyed by
the people as they see fit,
even as a church.
[soft music]
[Police DPO]
All right boys, let's retreat.
Move out.
Chief Amachree,
I have a little private
message from Mr. Timi Johnson.
He says...
[soft piano music]
not to fool with his boy.
[soft piano music continues]
[crowd cheers]
Mr. Timi.
Mr. Timi.
Mr. Timi, it worked.
It worked.
They stopped the demolition. [laughing]
I can see that you are happy.
I hope this doesn't
affect your work though.
Actually sir, about, about that.
[Elijah rasps]
Come on, come on out with it.
I'm not going to kill you.
[soft piano music]
when everyone had left, I,
I was in the church alone,
and God spoke to me.
He, he, he, he has asked me
to start the church properly.
I already give you two days off a week
to go do your Bible thing.
If you wanna convert
those days into service,
how does that concern me?
God has asked me to
stop domestic service
and follow his ministry more permanently.
This is about that girl, isn't it?
[Elijah] No. No, no, no.
It's, it's not.
It was God.
I mean, why else would he save the church?
You think God saved your church?
I saved your church.
[Timi slams table]
I believe you were the instrument, sir.
So, God spoke to you, did he?
And what did He say, exactly?
That He thinks you're now too
big to be a house manager,
or he needs your help in
getting the little money
these people around here struggle to make,
so you can do what?
Buy yourself a new car and
impress your girlfriend,
or better still, her father.
Let me tell you something.
No matter what you do,
no matter how much money you make,
once a house boy, always a house boy.
You know,
I'm curious.
Did this God tell you
what will happen to me
once you go off playing
Jesus, baptising people, hmm?
Is he gonna find me another
house boy or does he not care?
I won't leave sir, till we find someone.
We? There is no we.
You are walking out on we, ah.
I have to find someone else,
invite them into my home, my life.
Teach them how to make fucking eggs again.
[tense piano music]
After all that I have done for you,
after everything that I have given you,
I treated you like you were...
you know what?
Go on.
Don't come back.
I want you out of this
house by tomorrow morning.
Fucking ingrate.
[tense piano music]
You think you know God.
You think He loves you.
Well, I've got news for you, boy.
He will disappoint you.
He will take everything you
love and He will destroy it.
[tense piano music]
[tense piano music continues]
[tense piano music continues]
You locked me in.
Your father did what
he thought was best.
I hate him.
Ah, no, don't say
that about your father.
I hate him.
Well, if it's any consolation,
the church was not demolished.
I'm going to marry Elijah,
and leave this godforsaken house.
[pensive piano music]
[pensive piano music continues]
[knocking on door]
[pensive piano music continues]
[pensive piano music continues]
[pensive piano music continues]
What are you doing?
How did you?
You can't be here at this time.
Your, your father,
Mr. Timi.
Are you okay?
Please, not like this.
We have to.
It's the only way.
What's wrong?
we have to do this.
Trust me, please.
It's the only way.
This is wrong.
do you love me?
- But.
- Ssh.
Answer, please.
Do you love me enough to marry me
and want to spend the
rest of your life with me?
You know I do.
Then baby, please.
This is the only way.
[Anna exhaling]
[soft music]
[Elijah rasping]
[Elijah rasping]
Your inhaler.
Where is it, where is it, where is it?
[Elijah wheezing]
[Anna banging drawers]
[soft music]
[Elijah rasping]
[Anna gasping]
It's not working!
[Anna screaming]
[Anna screaming]
[soft music]
[ventilator machine hissing]
[soft music continues]
I'm afraid he has chronic lung failure,
seems to have had it for quite a while
and could have been treated with drugs.
Unfortunately, he wasn't
diagnosed early enough.
We thought he had asthma.
Maybe it was wrongly
diagnosed as asthma.
So what do we do?
What do we do Doctor?
There isn't much we can do.
I mean, he would need a lung transplant
and we do not have donors for that here.
At least there isn't any active
registry that I'm aware of.
And you can't fly him abroad
because there's a long list of patients
waiting to receive from donors.
And no one will put him
ahead of their citizens.
It's both lungs, which means
it has to be cadaveric.
And you're going to have
a hard time convincing
a parent or a next of
kin to give you the lungs
of their recently deceased loved ones
within the space of 48 hours.
So, like I said, there
isn't much we can do.
We can only continue to
put him on a ventilator
so that you all can say your goodbyes.
I really am sorry.
Leave him on the ventilator.
I'd like a second opinion.
[Doctor] We'll do just that.
[sombre music]
The echoes of diversifying
the Nigerian economy
to salvage it from the scourge
of depression and recession
have been resounding since
the woes of the economy
have come to constitute strong forces
blowing storms of
disturbance in the country.
As attention has been
drawn to agriculture,
some proposals which are considered as...
[Elijah] They came from far and wide,
the best pulmonary
specialists in the world.
But my dad didn't give up.
He instructed Mr. Coker to pay off
as many emergency room doctors
as he could find around the country.
They were supposed to convince people
who had just lost their loved ones
to donate their lungs for a transplant.
All the doctors tried
to explain how the death
need not be in vain
if it can help save another life.
But it just wasn't working.
Pretty soon, my father got impatient
and took matters into his own hands.
That didn't work out too well.
You can't do this.
These people are bereaved.
Well where are we with the adoption?
Okay, we found the place.
But Timi, are you sure?
Do not ask me that again.
[tense music]
[tense music continues]
[Timi crying]
Look boy.
So sorry.
I'm so sorry.
[sombre music]
[approaching footsteps]
[dramatic music]
[dramatic music continues]
[dramatic music continues]
You know,
the first time I met him and he had his
lung thing.
It scared me.
His nose made that funny sound. [rasping]
Then I thought he was making fun of me.
First time we spoke,
I did most of the talking
and he was just [rasping].
[both laughing]
[Anna sobs]
Mr. Timi, he can't die.
Promise me he won't die.
[soft music]
He's not going to die.
I, I told him that a long, long time ago,
he's not allowed to die before me.
what's a soft girl like
you doing, falling for Elijah?
[Anna laughs]
I think the first thing
I noticed was his heart.
[sombre music]
He is kind.
[Timi crying]
[upbeat music]
[pen marking]
[birds chirping]
[horns honking]
[traffic passing]
[horns honking]
[clock ticking]
Are you not coming?
I have a few things I need to get sorted.
Take care of Elijah.
[kiss smacking]
[car running]
[birds chirping]
[bright music]
[Elijah] My father tracked
down my old orphanage,
not to get further medical history,
but so that he could officially adopt me.
[plane taxiing]
[Coker] We could have
brought all this to you
in the house, you know Timi.
No, I haven't seen Lagos since...
I didn't think I would
get a chance to see it.
[Coker] You're scaring
me, you know, Timi.
Are you sure this is what you want?
All of it?
Look Timi,
with all due respect,
I know how much you love
this young man and all,
giving all your wealth to someone
who may die intestate in one week?
My son will live.
[pen marking]
[pen cap clicking]
[Timi sighs]
All of it.
Thanks for everything,
for all these years.
I mean it.
[tense music]
there will be very many more years,
many more.
[tense music]
[church door opening]
[tense music continues]
why have you forsaken me?
I know now what must be done,
but I cannot do it without You.
My son needs your help.
He needs my lungs.
I'm not going to try and kill myself.
Hasn't worked in 40 years,
but I know now why you
gave me these lungs.
They were never meant for me.
I was just holding them for him.
I know now why you gave me this mind.
It was to prepare his mind.
And of course,
I know now why you gave me this wealth.
It was to open doors
that would have been closed
to him.
It is his time now.
I want to see my family again.
[light piano music]
[Timi sobs]
I want to come home.
I want to come home.
I want to come home.
Please Father...
[light piano music]
do not turn away from me again.
[wind blowing]
[doors closing]
[light piano music continues]
[wind blowing]
[light piano plays]
[light piano music continues]
[light piano music continues]
[uplifting orchestral music]
[light piano music]
[light piano music continues]
[light piano music continues]
[uplifting orchestral music]
[uplifting orchestral music continues]
[uplifting orchestral music continues]
[Doctor] Take it easy, take it easy,
that's okay.
[Elijah coughing]
[soft piano music]
Where's Mr. Timi?
Where is my father?
[muffled voices]
[soft music]
[soft music]
[Anna crying]
[Elijah crying]
[soft piano music]
[soft piano music continues]
[Timi] My dear boy.
To see your face one more time,
especially healthy and happy
is a treat I will give the world for.
Alas, even I cannot deny that God
has the final say on these matters.
And while I am here in thought,
Anna will always be by your side.
She's an amazing woman,
who will make you very happy.
[soft orchestral music]
And do not worry about her Father.
Once he knows how much money you have now,
he will definitely let you marry Anna.
[soft orchestral music]
[car comes to a halt]
[soft orchestral music continues]
[soft orchestral music continues]
[plane lands on runway]
[Timi] I don't want you to be
angry or sad,
or feel guilty for being alive.
[Concierge] Welcome to Cambridge,
Mr. Johnson.
[uplifting orchestral music]
[airplane engine]
[Elijah exhales deeply]
[uplifting orchestral music continues]
[under water ripple]
I've lived my life.
It is time to live yours, and
I will always be with you.
And what a beautiful new life it will be,
full of possibilities to do whatever,
to be whoever.
[Elijah] My father
was a very special man
who lived his entire life
for the purpose of giving me life.
Who else can say that?