- 2 hr 4 min
Sankofa is a powerful and thought-provoking film that explores the legacy of slavery and the struggle for freedom in Africa and the United States. Released in 1993, the film is directed by Ethiopian filmmaker Haile Gerima and stars Kofi Ghanaba, Oyafunmike Ogunlano, and Alexandra Duah. The film tells the story of Mona, an African-American model who is transported back in time to a plantation in the 18th century. At the plantation, she is forced to work as a slave and experiences firsthand the brutality and oppression of the slave trade. As Mona begins to understand the history and culture of the enslaved people of the plantation, she begins to question her own identity and the legacy of slavery in the modern world.
The title of the film, Sankofa, is a term from the Akan language of Ghana that means "go back and fetch it." It is a symbol of the need to look back at the past in order to move forward in the present. In the film, this theme is explored through Mona's journey of self-discovery and her connection to the history and culture of her ancestors.
Throughout the film, Gerima uses powerful imagery and symbolism to convey the brutal realities of slavery and the ways in which it continues to impact the lives of African Americans today. Scenes of violence, such as the whipping of slaves and the rape of women, are juxtaposed with moments of beauty and resilience, such as the singing and dancing of enslaved Africans and their continued resistance to oppression.
One of the most compelling aspects of Sankofa is its portrayal of the complex and often violent relationships between enslaved Africans and their white oppressors. The film does not shy away from the brutality of slavery, but it also does not reduce the complexity of these relationships to simple binaries of good and evil. Instead, Gerima portrays a range of characters who are all struggling to survive and find meaning in a world defined by slavery and inequality.
At its core, Sankofa is a film about the power of history and the need to confront the legacy of slavery in order to create a more just and equitable world. It is a call to action for all people to "go back and fetch it" - to look back at the past and use that knowledge to create a better future.
Overall, Sankofa is a powerful and moving film that challenges viewers to confront the realities of slavery and racism in the United States and around the world. Its themes of self-discovery, heritage, and resistance continue to be relevant today, making it a must-see for anyone interested in social justice, history, and human rights.
Sankofa is a 1993 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 4 minutes. It has received outstanding reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1 and a MetaScore of 93.