A self-absorbed Black American fashion model on a photo shoot in Africa is spiritually transported back to a plantation in the West Indies where she experiences first-hand the physical and ... See full summary »
A self-absorbed Black American fashion model on a photo shoot in Africa is spiritually transported back to a plantation in the West Indies where she experiences first-hand the physical and psychic horrors of chattel slavery, and eventually the redemptive power of community and rebellion as she becomes a member of a freedom-seeking Maroon colony. Written by
L. J. Allen-2
I saw this film in Washington, DC in 1995 and have since purchased the tape. It is a blast of African pride and anti-slavery vigor from Ethiopian-born director Haile Gerima. Gerima is a professor at Howard University in DC and his films confront the issues of race, integration, and violence in Africa and America. "Sankofa" is available through Mypheduh films (Gerima's production company) in DC.
The story begins and ends on a small island in West Africa, where 'Mona', an African-American fashion model, is in the present day. The middle of the film consists of Mona, through magic realism, being transported back to a slave plantation in 18th-century America. For those of you who wonder about what it was like to be a slave back then, under those barbaric and intolerable conditions, this is your chance. "Sankofa" is not for the faint of heart. Yet its violent scenes are never overdone, and the film's final 'message' is a positive one.
It's a shame that this film at this time has an IMDB "rating" of only 5 or so, because 31 of the 44 votes cast have been "10"s, including mine. I guess this film has alienated a few people, but most powerful films do that. A very important film from a gifted and underrated director.
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