Citation parents guide

Citation Parent Guide

This movie addresses the critically important issue of campus sexual assault; unfortunately, it feels like an after school special.

Overall B-

Netflix: Moremi, a young student at an elite college in Nigeria, finds herself in a whirlwind of media and public attention when she reports one of her professors for trying to rape her. Now with not only her reputation but her education on the line, it looks like it's going to be her word against his...

Release date November 6, 2020

Violence C
Sexual Content D
Profanity C-
Substance Use A-

Why is Citation rated TV-MA? The MPAA rated Citation TV-MA

Run Time: 151 minutes

Parent Movie Review

As a 21-year-old student enrolled in a competitive master’s degree program in a respected Nigerian university, Moremi (Temi Otedola) has plenty of work to do already. But things have gone badly wrong: her supervisor, Professor Lucien N’Dyare (Jimmy Jean-Louis) has sexually assaulted her and is threatening to fail her thesis. Now embroiled in an administrative hearing, Moremi finds that her word seems to have little value against his, and she has little recourse but to keep insisting that the beloved professor is, in fact, a predator. As the hearing drags on, Moremi becomes more and more certain that N’Dyare is about to get away with a hideous abuse of power – and she isn’t sure how to stop him.

This movie is considerably longer than it needs to be. Frankly, unless you’re making The Lord of the Rings, there’s no real reason your movie needs to be two and a half hours long – and this certainly isn’t Tolkien. Besides the length, the film has another problem – subtitles. Most of the dialogue is in English, but it switches seamlessly between Yoruba and French. Unless you like reading subtitles, or just so happen to be trilingual, you’re going to spend a lot of the movie wondering what is going on.

On the plus side, the content is remarkably tame. While the plot does revolve around an attempted rape and a serious abuse of power, very little graphic content is seen. A female student is seen being pinned down and choked prior to an attempted sexual assault, but there is no actual nudity. Another scene implies nudity, but nothing graphic is shown. Profanity is also surprisingly limited. While the movie is too long and probably too serious for younger audiences, this is probably suitable for most older teens – but bear in mind the mature subject matter could be triggering to individuals with post-traumatic stress symptoms.

Citation addresses an important problem, not just in Nigeria but in academia generally. Unfortunately, it feels more like an after-school special than a serious examination of the problems that exist or their underlying causes. It’s a significant personal story, but that does little to illuminate the social causes that allow these stories to be as common as they are. Added to which, it’s nearly an hour longer than it should be, meaning the film absolutely had time to address those bigger issues. It’s frustrating, but still worth watching – if you have two and a half hours to spend with it.

Directed by Kunle Afolayan. Starring Jimmy Jean-Louis, Temi Otedola, and Adjetey Anang. Running time: 151 minutes. Theatrical release November 6, 2020. Updated

Watch the trailer for Citation

Citation
Rating & Content Info

Why is Citation rated TV-MA? Citation is rated TV-MA by the MPAA

Violence: A man is beaten with belts and struck by a car. A woman is shown being hit and choked. A corpse is briefly seen during an autopsy in a medical school. A man is kneed between the legs. Some hand-to-hand martial arts fighting is shown in the context of a karate competition. A character is shown committing suicide.
Sexual Content: There are references to and depictions of sexual assault. There is a scene of implied nudity with no graphic detail.
Profanity: There is one use of extreme profanity and two uses of scatological cursing. Mild profanities are heard infrequently.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Background adult characters are seen drinking in social settings. A musician comes out of a smoke-filled trailer, but it is unclear whether it is simply a smoke machine or something more illicit.

Page last updated

Citation Parents' Guide

Why does this system seemingly disproportionately benefit the faculty? Why is Moremi in such a difficult position? How widespread do you think this problem is?

Have you ever seen a movie produced and filmed in Africa before? How does this differ from Western portrayals of the continent? Do you know any notable actors from Nigeria?

Loved this movie? Try these books…

One of the more well-known works about Nigeria is Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, which is broadly about the Biafran Civil War, but which also has important commentary about academia and sexual violence. There is a film adaptation directed by Biyi Bandele and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thrandie Newton.