Watch An African Election
An African Election is a documentary film directed by Jarreth Merz that details the 2008 presidential elections in Ghana, which were historic due to the fact that it was the first time in the country's history that an incumbent leader had been ousted through democratic means. The film expertly captures the high-stakes, high-emotion process of democracy in action, giving viewers an up-close look at the inner workings of a developing nation's political machinery. The documentary begins with a detailed explanation of the two major political parties in the country, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP). In 2008, John Atta Mills was the candidate for the NDC and Nana Akufo-Addo was the candidate for the NPP, and the documentary follows their campaigns as they race to get their messages out to the people of Ghana. The film does an excellent job of exploring the nuances of Ghanaian politics, which is a mix of ancient tribal traditions and modern Western-style democracy. It shows how political alliances are made and broken, how candidates must work hard to court influential traditional leaders, and how party politics can override the country's collective interests. The filmmakers also explore the political and social challenges facing Ghana, including poverty, corruption, and uneven economic growth. The documentary follows the candidates as they hold rallies, participate in debates, and travel across the country to meet with voters. The filmmakers also interview key members of both campaigns, including Mills and Akufo-Addo, as well as other prominent politicians and ordinary citizens. One of the most interesting aspects of the film is its exploration of the role of the media in Ghanaian politics. The filmmakers show how the press plays a vital role in monitoring the campaigns and holding politicians accountable, but also how some media outlets can be vulnerable to political pressure and manipulation. A particularly dramatic moment in the film occurs when the NPP, suspecting that the NDC is using government resources to support its campaign, stages a sit-in at a major state-owned radio station. Throughout the film, the stakes of the election are made clear. Many Ghanaians are hoping for a peaceful transition of power, but there are fears that the election could lead to violence and instability. The filmmakers expertly build tension as the election draws closer, showing how both sides are gearing up for a potentially contentious process. Ultimately, An African Election is an inspiring and thought-provoking film that sheds light on the complexities of democracy and political change in a developing nation. The filmmakers do an excellent job of capturing the hopes, fears, and aspirations of the Ghanaian people, as well as the challenges they face in creating a better future for themselves and their country. The film also serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of democracy and the need to fight for it, even in places where the odds may seem insurmountable. In conclusion, An African Election is a must-see documentary for anyone interested in politics, Africa, or the power of democracy. It is a poignant and often thrilling look at one of the most important moments in Ghana's history, and the people who worked to make it happen.