Sankofa (1993) - Rotten Tomatoes

Sankofa (1993)

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Movie Info

SANKOFA follows Mona (Oyafunmike Ogunlano), a Black American fashion model on a photo shoot in Cape Coast, Ghana. Through Mr. Gerima's imaginative storytelling, she undergoes a journey back in time to a plantation in North America. There she becomes Shola, an enslaved African woman who labors in the master's house and experiences the horrors of slavery firsthand. In becoming Shola, Mona recovers and confronts her ancestral identity and experience. While enduring monstrous trauma at the hands of white men who owned people for profit, Shola's interactions with her fellow enslaved Africans are rich with humanity, respect and dignity for one another. Most notably, she connects with Shango (Mutabaruka), a rebellious African man who toils in the fields, and Nunu (Alexandra Duah), one of the few of the enslaved to remember her life in Africa before being stolen and terrorized by European traders.

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Critic Reviews for Sankofa

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (7)

It's a film that seems ancient and wise.

October 8, 2021 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

A visually enrapturing movie.

September 24, 2021 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

"Sankofa" depicts the appropriation of violence by its victims-and the movie itself is an act of history, a bearing of witness, and a reminder and reinforcement of dignity.

May 3, 2019 | Full Review…

While there's no doubting the sincerity of writer/director Gerima's film, one can't help sensing more than a little déjà vu in his account of the manifest evils of slavery.

February 9, 2006 | Full Review…

[Gerima's] film is ambitious in its depiction of slavery and accomplished in its visual command, from the bright red scarves of the rebellious slaves to a fire they set in the fields.

May 20, 2003

The exciting thing about Haile Gerima's lush, wide-screen folkloric feature about black slavery is its poetic conviction, backed up by a great deal of filmmaking savvy.

October 16, 2001 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews

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