In West Africa during the late 17th century, King Adanggaman leads a war against his neighboring tribes, ordering his soldiers to torch enemy villages, kill the elderly and capture the ... See full summary »
In West Africa during the late 17th century, King Adanggaman leads a war against his neighboring tribes, ordering his soldiers to torch enemy villages, kill the elderly and capture the healthy tribesmen to sell to the European slave traders. When his village falls prey to one of Adanggaman's attacks, Ossei manages to escape, but his family is murdered except for his captured mother. Chasing after the soldiers in an effort to free her, Ossei is befriended by a fierce warrior named Naka. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
I find this film somewhat disappointing. I expected more from it. The enslavement of innocent people is such an emotive subject I thought there would be more dramatic appeal. All the ingredients were there waiting to be put together but the final presentation did not move me as much as it should have.
The action takes place somewhere in Africa in the 17th Century and Adanggaman a tribal chief has set himself up as the top authority on all things African including the right to enslave his neighbours. Netting them like wild animals after burning their huts and pursuing them through the undergrowth as they try to escape he has them shackled in the most cruel way and sold to the highest bidder at auctions. A man may be worth a cow and a sheep and if he is in good physical condition (as most seem to be) he may command an extra animal or two.
The so-called "Amazon" warriors which I thought was a misnomer were a tough lot of trained guards responsible it seems for transporting the prisoners from their tribal home (now burnt to the ground) to a temporary prison unsheltered and exposed to all the elements. The suffering must have been extreme, but that feeling was not conveyed well.
As a matter of fact so many of the scenes were shot in the blackness of night with perhaps just a tiny shaft of light exposing now and again a head or a half face or a pair of eyes. More than a few minutes of this becomes a strain on the eyes and the action of the film does not move forward as it should. May be the art director was let loose at this point and took over shooting, but he must learn that these so-called artistic intrusions must be meaningful if they are to serve the drama.
In a sense this film was an education for me. When I hear of slavery I tend to think of those awful days when blacks were exported to the Western world to serve their white masters and I tend to overlook the slavery of people of their own kind who suffer at the hands of their brothers.
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