What’s Blue in Blue Films?

Back in the day (yea, I can use that line, I’m getting old enough to), 80s through to the early 2000s, in Nigeria, i often heard everywhere from angry and/or disappointed parents to aunties and uncles to neighbours and amongst peers, the term blue film. Whenever it was spoken amongst peers, there was always some form of sacredness to it. You either said it really fast or whispered it. After looking left right and left again. The term Mojo also meant the same thing but that was used mostly by people who spent most of their time on the street. So blue film was the popular term while I was growing up.

But I’ve often wondered. Who came up with that name sef?

For those who don’t know, Blue film was the name given to x-rated films. I say was cos I think everybody just calls it porn now (Yea, you’ve been reading about porn).


But back then, blue film was the name. How the blue came about is probably a mystery. Maybe someone watched a girl in a blue dress. Or maybe it was on a bed with blue sheets. Or on a blue car? Or maybe the recording was intermittently disrupted by a blue screen. You know how cassettes were like. I did have one that constantly got stuck in our VHS especially when someone was coming. When it played fine, it often showed a blu…..ehem! I digress.

If I remember correctly, I think the main reason my curiosity was heightened was because I wanted to see the blue in blue film. You know we were constantly forbidden to see, listen to, talk about or even smell an x-rated film. But despite all of that the cat still died of curiosity.
If they had just called it Adult films, I probably would’ve refrained from seeing one. Probably. They kept calling out bluefilm and young wannabe scientists, like I was, felt the need to do some research. My findings? There was nothing blue about it.

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