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"Spirit of the dead, rise up and claim your story!"


InfoEntrance: 40,- N$


On Wednesday, 31 October 2015, AfricAvenir presents the Namibian Premiere of the cult film ”Sankofa” (Ghana/UK/Burkina Faso/Germany/USA, 1993, 125 min, directed by Haile Gerima). Powerful, moving and highly acclaimed, director Haile Gerima’s Sankofa is a masterpiece of cinema that has had a transformative impact on audiences since its release in 1993. Its considered a cult film by African and African diaspora audiences. 

Presenting Sankofa to Namibian audiences has been on AfricAvenir's wishlist since the beginning of “African Perspectives” in 2006/7. We finally can say: This master piece is showing in Windhoek.

Technical Details:

Director/Writer/Producer:   Haile Gerima

Co-Producer: Shirikiana Aina

Line Producer: Ada Marie Babino 

Featuring:  Kofi Ghanaba, Oyafunmike Ogunlano, Alexandra Duah, Nick Medley, Mutabaruka, Afemo Omilami, Reggie Carter, and others. 

Cinematographer:  Augustin Cubano

Editor: Haile Gerima 

Music:  David J. White

Language: Original with English subtitles 

Synopsis: "Spirit of the dead, rise up and claim your story!"

This empowering film tells a story of enslavery and of the African Diaspora from the perspective of the enslaved, challenging the romanticizing of enslavery prevalent in American culture. Sankofa (1993, 125 min) was developed from 20 years of research into the Maafa (the word used for the trans-Atlantic enslavery-trade/genocide) and the experiences of African enslaved in the New World. The film represents complex characters and empowering moments of resilience that assert humanity in the face of subjugation. Unlike Hollywood’s depiction of enslavery, Gerima presents the often suppressed history of enslaved resistance and rebellion and represents the enslaved as agents of their own liberation. The story begins with Mona (Oyafunmike Ogunlano), an African American model on a fashion shoot at the former enslaved castles in Cape Coast, Ghana. Mona undergoes a journey back in time and place to a plantation in North America where she becomes Shola, a house enslaved, and experiences the suffering of enslavery firsthand. In becoming Shola and returning to her past culture and heritage, Mona is able to recover her lost enslaved identity and confront her ancestral experience. Shola’s interactions with her fellow enslaved are marked with humanity and dignity, most notably with Shango (Mutabaruka), a rebellious field enslaved, and Nunu (Alexandra Duah), one of the few enslaved to remember her life in Africa before being stolen by Europeans. The film’s narrative structure follows the concept of “Sankofa,” an Akan word that signifies the recuperation of one’s past in order to comprehend the present and find one’s future.


Nominated for Golden Bear, Berlin International Film Festival, Germany, 1993

First prize, African Film Festival in Milan, Italy, 

Best Cinematography, FESPACO, Burkina Faso, 1993

African Perspectives, a monthly African Cinema series in Windhoek, organised by AfricAvenir since 2006, is supported by AfriCine, JacMat, the Franco Namibian Cultural Centre, Goethe-Centre/Nads, Turipamwe Designs and the FNB Foundation.

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