Sankofa (1993)

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.… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: May 28, 1993
DVD Release Date: September 24, 2021
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Critic Score: 93% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Ty Burr
Ty Burr's Watch List

It's a film that seems ancient and wise.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

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.

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David Bax
Battleship Pretension

Sankofa argues that the Black lineage across time and oceans is as recognizable and traceable as the traditions of Black folk music.

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Robert Daniels

A visually enrapturing movie.

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Caryn James
New York Times

[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.

Toussaint Egan

[Haile] Gerima's film is a bold, beautiful, and bracing depiction of the redemptive power of community and rebellion and a stirring cinematic call to embrace, understand, and most importantly remember the history of human struggle.

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Richard Brody
New Yorker

"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.

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

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.

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Dennis Harvey
48 Hills

Imperfect as it is, it's an important work in African-American and African diaspora cinema that should be seen.

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