The movie Sankofa depicts slavery in Lafayette with some of the most horrible and dreadful moment any viewer has ever laid eyes on. She travels back to the times of slaves. Conclusion Sankofa is deemed to be a momentous epic. Sankofa takes the audience on a journey through time to experience the stories and lives of African ancestors. At one point in the film, while Shango is in the pilliary for physically challenging Master James, the white overseer, Shola brings leftover food from the plantation house for Shango. In fact Shola is forced to repent and told the whipping will not end until she has renounced these heathen ways and promised to follow a more Christian life.

In the beginning of the film, there is an African-American model taking pictures on a beach. After her repentance as Shola lays weeping on her bed, Shango appears and tells her to continue running and be strong. She tells of meetings in which fellow slaves are involved, but does not join them. I was very interested in its relationship to the present” Wright. Haile Gerima’s film is part a tradition that is directed toward using film to achieve revolutionary aims, inspired by Latin American cinema like Hour of the Furnaces and writers such as Franz Fanon. It is a celebration of the strength of black people, in drawing upon their spiritual roots, to defy their oppressors–past and present alike. Furthermore, he gives her a Sankofa bird, which she claims gave her this new rebellious attitude.

Movie Critique Analysis: Sankofa

Less common but definitely apt is Gerima’s blunt reflection of the white man’s employment of Christianity to take advantage sankofq and be in charge of slaves.

It is this sense of passivity and acceptance that Gerima finds frustrating and historically inaccurate. This matter of skin color is presently widespread in our social norms.

Sankofa tells the white photographer that it was at this fortress that whites humiliated and abused millions of Africans, and that the photographer does not belong there.

Much like Oduche in Arrow of GodJoe finds himself losing his own identity as he retreats from his African culture and moves closer to the cross. But even if these sacrifices are made, it becomes clear to audiences that Oduche and Joe will still be, at best, domesticated savages in the eyes of the priests and the other European colonizers.

By tapping into that collective memory, Mona is able symolism gain a new sense of self that is informed by history and ancestral narratives — a sense of self that is free of an imposed identity often assigned by white or European society.

Aybar de Soto, Jose M. If you look at America as a plantation, then you can codify the different classes and interest groups within the society. Here are two pieces of symbolism to guide us: The talking of the drums…. There are those Western thinkers that would argue that indigenous culture is savage cuture, and must eventually give way sankof the superior culture of the European in much the same way that the dinosaur gave way to the mammal.


Have you ever seen that frustrated- felt that abused? This mission must involve conscious knowledge of one’s history, and a means of overcoming the way in which systems sankfa domination enlist the oppressed to participate in their own subjugation. I was very interested in its relationship to the present” Wright. All through this movie there are numerous other subplots that exist but the chief goal for the slaves in Lafayette is an improved life.

The bold, dramatic manner in which Ssnkofa sweeps Mona back into the past signals that what’s to come will be both different and dynamic. When Mona again finds light, she movif standing before a room of silent Africans who are in chains and shackled together. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Nijla Mumin also praises the film for the work it is doing to give the saknofa a new type of narrative. These three figures are three examples of oppression during slavery.


You want to act you want to be in a play it’s white. Mona steps into the dungeon of the castle and is met by the spirit of dead slaves. The critical reception of the film Sankofaespecially from those with an academic interest in the field of slave narrative studies, has made it a significant member of slavery film canon.

Even though Sankofa is seen by some as an illustration of new cinematic methodsit can be mistaken as Nowhere is the insidious nature of Western-style plantation Christianity more clearly revealed than in the character of Joe. He confronts the model and photographer, chastising them in an African language that escapes the two Americans completely, but that the viewing audience is able to understand through subtitles.

Why are we told that Shango has never decided to run away? The Sankofa tells her to return to her past to gain what has been lost. Progress and manifest destiny for the colonizing Westerner is little more than an oppressive dystopia for the indigenous person. Alim, Throughout the film a number of characters come to glowing life.

Gerima believes that not only does history heal, but that “history is power” afgen. The spirit of resistance was very much absent” afgen. The store specializes in selling independent and foreign films to a Black audience. Gerima continues to produce films through his studio Mypheduh Films Inc. The opening sequence ends with a bronze figure of a bird with its head turned backwards, looking behind itself. She runs diligently to her death, which brings her back to the present where she becomes Mona once again.


To teach a film study class on slavery without including Sankofa would be like teaching a nineteenth-century British Literature class without mentioning Jane Austen.

“Sankofa” and Us: How Looking Back Moves Us Forward

In both content and form, Gerima concludes that freedom transcends living bodies and can be found in the collective memories of African ancestors. Father Raphael insists that Joe divorce himself of everything having to do with African rituals. Shango refuses to eat the food, and asks Shola why she is unwilling to join the insurrection.

The ladinos that own the land in the Guatemala and Honduras of I, Rigoberta Menchu and Don’t Be Afraid Gringo are ethnically derived from the indigenous Indian peoples that they are oppressing. This film has a particular interest in exploring how the characters actively pursued the ideals of sankofa. Shola feels the hypocrisy of father Raphael.

Leland Wright Professors M. Blacks work with slavers.

“Sankofa” and Us: How Looking Back Moves Us Forward « bsudlr

His scores make his case. Sankofa’s words are soon interrupted by armed soldiers who are seeking to preserve the fortress as a tourist destination. Root less and over-tolerant There is a striking difference between the representation of plantation life in Haile Gerima’s Sankofa and that set forth by Alex Haley’s Symbolixm.

That often places the intelligentsia of a country in a position zankofa is in conflict with that purer source of truth that is the common citizen, as the intelligentsia on some level, are winners in the system that requires the oppression and underdevelopment of the masses. Haile Gerima lecture given at Mount Holyoke College. Click here to sign up.

Sybolism which is an Akan word meaning that we must return and sannkofa our history so we can go forward; so we recognize why and how we came to be who we are presently.

Through both Shola and Joe, the film tells us that undergoing suffering is a powerful and challenging means of liberation, in order to break free of the bindings of privilege. It gives power to Black natives on the screen by screening how African people”s yearning for liberty made them oppose, refute, and scheme in opposition to their masters and combined history through the vision on Mona, who visits her familial experience on a new world agricultural estate as Shola.

She tells of meetings in which fellow slaves are involved, but does not join them.