HERITAGE AFRICA

Synopsis

Set in 1955 Heritage Africa, as Kwah Ansah shows the tragic effects that this alienation can have on an individual. Its central character, a man named Kwesi ("Sunday-born") Atta ("a twin") Bosomefi ("an illustrious ancestor has been reborn"), prefers to be called Quincy Arthur Bosomfield. The perfect product of colonial education, Bosomfield embraces English culture in all forms, rising within the colonial administration to become an African district commissioner (a rarity) and member of the black educated elite. In the process, he abandons his African heritage and all that has real meaning to him, to the point that we see him humiliate his own mother (his rejection and betrayal of her is symbolically a rejection and betrayal of "Mother" Africa) and give away a treasured family heirloom, his family legacy.

However, the status quo of Bosomfield's privileged position becomes troubled over the course of the film. Through encounters with a jailed revolutionary (probably based on Kwame Nkrumah, the man who ultimately led Ghana to independence), his estranged wife, and his own guilty conscience, Bosomfield suffers a true identity crisis and begins to change direction, moving away from servile dependence on the colonialist, back to the heritage that he has long suppressed.

About the Director
Kwaw Ansah was born in 1941 in Agona Swedru, Ghana. He studied Theater Design at the London Polytechnic, before studying Performing Arts at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts of New York from 1963 to 1965. He founded the Abibirma Players in 1964, and his play The Adoption was produced off-Broadway in 1964. In 1965 he moved to Los Angeles to study at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, and worked at RKO Studios.

His first feature, Love Brewed in the African Pot (1980), earned an immediate popular and critical acclaim throughout English-speaking Africa. Despite all the awards and the success, it would be nearly ten years before Ansah could complete his next major film project, the ambitious Heritage Africa (1989).

Yet again, the film was widely acclaimed and awarded. Since then, Ansah has limited his film work to documentaries, with Crossroads of People, Crossroads of Trade (1994). Ansah is a crusader for African filmmaking and dramatic art, working ceaselessly for improved funding and distribution of African films within Africa. He has been chairman of FEPACI and a leader in the direction of FESPACO. In 1998, Kwaw Ansah was awarded the Acrag Prize, the Living Legend Award for Contribution to the Arts of Ghana.

LIFMF 2013 thanks the Ghanian High Commissioner

Information

Director: Kwaw Ansah
Time: 126 min
Language: English

Genre: Drama
Country: Ghana
Year: 1989

 

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