Stanlee Ohikhuare’s film ‘Common Man’ is a filmed ‘essay’ about the feelings of whom is usually referred to as a ‘common man’, ‘common person’ or ‘the masses’. One of the interesting points the director makes is that the wealthy, popular or political leaders get all the importance even after death (by media advertise for example), while the others – the common people – are being made an injustice by being treated as anonymous cases.
The film is a combination of narrative fiction and documentary pieces. The narrative fiction tells the story of two friends: while one of them dies in a fire accident together with his wife during their honeymoon, the other one who is a journalist tries to understand what happened. Frustration regarding the system and its ways of classifying individuals in privileged and common and treating each category accordingly – despite all men having been made equal – merges with the journalist’s obsession to find out the reasons of his friends’ death. He goes as far as blaming himself for the couples’ death and he starts suspecting that his wedding gift might have been the cause.
‘Common Man’ talks about the confusion in which ordinary people are oftenly caught, about the duplicitous thoughts among which they are trying to find an order and guide their lives.
Stanlee Ohikhuare’s film is an attempt to sound the alarm that the system is exposing its most individuals to the dangers of being treated ‘commonly’ while conserving the privileged benefits and attention for the wealthier groups. While each is making their own destiny and the ordinary man is usually also defined by their level of education, their vision and will, their abilities of establishing a goal in life and their striving to achieve it, their ‘journey’ is every so often unfairly obstructed depriving them from an equal start in life.