Sankofa (Ethiopia: 1993)


Haile Gerima

Cast list

Kofi Ghanaba: Sankofa
Oyafunmike Ogunlano: Mona
Alexandra Duah: Nunu
Nick Medley: Joe
Mutabaruka: Shango
Afemo Omilami: Noble Ali
Reggie Carter: Father Raphael
Mzuri: Lucy
Jimmy Lee Savage: Mussa
Hasinatu Camara: Jumma
Jim Faircloth: James
Stanley Michelson: Mr. Lafayette
John A. Mason: Big Boy
Louise Reid: Esther
Roger Doctor: Nathan
Alditz McKenzie: Kuta
Chrispan Rigby: Photographer
Maswell Parris: Baby Ngozi
Hossana Ghanaba: Linguist for Sankofa


Written by: Haile Gerima

Produced by: Haile Gerima, Ada Marie Babino, Shirikiana Aina


A self-absorbed Black American fashion model on a photo shoot in Ghana is spiritually transported back to a plantation in the West Indies where she experiences first-hand the physical and psychic horrors of chattel slavery, and eventually the redemptive power of community and rebellion as she becomes a member of a freedom-seeking Maroon colony.


Arthur Hindovei Camara, "Sankofa" (blog)

Gregory Freeman, "'Sankofa' Children claim their story". St Louis Post-Dispatch (newspaper)

Gorothy Gilliam, Rallying around ‘Sankofa’ The Washinton Post (online newspaper)

Caryn James, Sankofa (1993); Reliving a Past of Slavery The New York Times (online newspaper)

Ruth McCann, You Can Take the Auteur Out of Ethiopia, But ...: Profile of Local Filmmaker Haile Gerima The Washington Post (online newspaper)

Kristine McKenna, 'Sankofa': A Saga of Slavery Reaches the Big Screen : Movies: Haile Gerima hit a brick wall when trying to finance his story of a black woman, so he did it himself Los Angeles Times (online newspaper)

Rohan B. Preston, Poetic Injustice. In words, Images, ‘Sankofa’ tells a potent Tale of Slavery Chicago Tribune (online newspaper)

Carrie Rickey, Labor Of Love Making His Film About Slavery And Getting It Shown Have Been Grueling For Haile Gerima. His Reward Is Its Rousing Reception. (online magazine)


Academic Articles:

Field, Allyson Nadia.”To Journey Imperfectly: Black Cinema Aesthetics and the Filmic Language of Sankofa.”  The Journal of Cinema and Media, Vol. 55, No. 2 (Fall 2014), pp. 171-190.

Hamilton-Wray, Tama Lynne. “The Cinema of Haile Gerime. Black Film as a Liberating Cinema.” Michigan State University, 2010.

Kandé, Sylvie and Joe Karaganis.”Look Homeward, Angel: Maroons and Mulattos in Haile Gerima’s “Sankofa”.”  Research in African Literatures, Vol. 29, No. 2 (Summer 1998), pp. 128-146.

Schramm, Katherina. “Sankofa-Interpretation. Schwarze Selbst(er)findung zwischen Vergangenheitsbezug und Zukunftsorientierung.” Sociologus, Vol. 60, no. 2 (July 2010), pp. 191-217

Stafford, Tony and William Triplett.”Haile Gerima: Radical Departures to a New Black Cinema.” Journal of the University Film and Video Association, Vol. 35, No. 2 (Spring 1983), pp. 59-65.

Turner, Diane D. and Muata Kamdibe. “Haile Gerima: In Search of an Africana Cinema.” Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 38, No. 6 (July 2008), pp. 968-991.

Other movies from Ethiopia made in

Title Country Year Director More infos
Sankofa Ethiopia 1993 Haile Gerima
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