It has been days of constant jabs from some Ghanaian filmmakers and actors at politician Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko after his post commenting on the state of the Ghana movie industry but America based Ghanaian filmmaker Leila Djansi has come to his defense.
In a Facebook post, the prolific politician wrote:
“I took my time to watch randomly ten Ghanaian movies and never felt so disappointed. It brought home to me one major deficiency in our development. The apparent lack of deliberate consciousness on the part of the creative industry in the development conversation,”
After putting up the post, actors Adjetey Annan, Lydia Forson, Yvonne Nelson, and Kafui Danku demonstrated their displeasure at the post, stating that Gabby should press on his government to create a good policy for the creative arts to thrive.
Ghanaian-American filmmaker, Leila Djansi seems to be of a different view as she has taken to social media to lash out at Ghanaian filmmakers and actors for descending on the comment made by Gabby.
Read her letter to fellow filmmakers below:
My dear filmmakers in Ghana. Leave this politician guy alone! What he said about the industry is the truth. I don’t see why there’s so much deflection and insult for him.
He pretty much said Ghanaian films have no soul and he is RIGHT. Watching Ghanaian films is like talking to a lover who has dark glasses over his eyes. No connection.
The first arguments you all made was that there is no government support. Which government supported any film industry? Industries that have government support got it because of the impact they made on the countries economy. How much impact have Ghanaian films made on the economy? How honest are the players? There are so much rancor and treachery within the ranks. Nothing government can do about that!
Whenever you ask a middle-aged Ghanaian for his favorite Ghanaian film, they usually mention “I told you So”. So, I traced the film and watched it and I asked myself, really? Why? Because it’s funny? YES. Because it’s funny. Right, we can’t be serious in any aspect, huh? Everything must be fun.
Step back. Have comedies ever, ever been nominated for Oscars? Let’s use the Oscars as a yardstick. Action films? No. Because these genres are not necessarily “real”. They don’t tell of the HUMAN CONDITION. THE HUMAN HEART. THE HERO’S JOURNEY.
You fell in love with old Nollywood because of the CHARACTERS it created. The evil in-law, the blood money guy. It fed your superstition. You looked out for people like that in your day to day life. Grace Omaboe got her name, Maame Dokuno from a character she played. Kweku Ananse is famous because of his character.
This is all Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko is trying to say. He watched 10 Ghanaian films and he had no reason to root for any person. His core wasn’t stirred.
Instead of being so defensive and making up arguments, how about you listen?
My favorite films from Ghana are two. Kukurantuni, The road to Accra and Love Brewed In an African Pot. I didn’t laugh, I didn’t care for picture quality and I wasn’t saying it to please the filmmakers. I like these films because I can’t and have never forgotten the soul, decisions, and actions of the characters that led the story to where it went! Character driven plots.
A man returns from work and discovers his daughter was raped. He picks up a machete and steps out of the house into the rain. —Here is our hero. Now, let his actions and choices direct the course of the story HONESTLY. Don’t write what you like. Write his actions and the effect of his actions, remembering that every character in your plot has free will and makes decisions too. Conflict.