• Description
  • An epic production on black slavery, Sankofa was produced, written, directed and edited by Haile Gerima. The film links directly to the Ethiopian-American director's previous work as another statement on African history and its relevance to black society today. The theme is contained in the title: Sankofa, referring to an elderly, white-painted drummer on the Ghana coast who summons the spirits of the past each morning. It also means "to return to one's past, to rescue it from oblivion, and to turn toward the future" in the Akan language. The setting is an ancient fortress on the African coast, where Mona (Oyafunmike Ogunlano), a black American photographic model, is on an assignment-on the very spot where, in the 18th century, millions of black slaves were incarcerated while awaiting shipment abroad to the New World. Confronted by Sankofa for desecrating this "holy place," Mona is spiritually transported back into the past. -Ron Holloway, Hollywood Reporter

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