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Ameyaw Says

‘Sinking Sands’, worth the hype!

Over the past 6 months or so, I have been making a lot of ‘noise’ about Ghanaian film maker, Leila Djansi’s latest work, ‘Sinking Sands’ and after watching the screening of the movie recently, I gladly announce  that I haven’t been disappointed. ‘Sinking Sands’  is a psychological drama about a couple, Jimah (Jimmy Jean-Louis) and […]

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Over the past 6 months or so, I have been making a lot of ‘noise’ about Ghanaian film maker, Leila Djansi’s latest work, ‘Sinking Sands’ and after watching the screening of the movie recently, I gladly announce  that I haven’t been disappointed.

‘Sinking Sands’  is a psychological drama about a couple, Jimah (Jimmy Jean-Louis) and Pabi (Ama K. Abebrese) in a loving marriage which turns into one of violence and abuse when Jimah becomes disfigured in a domestic accident. It plays out the dilemma of a young, sweet and innocent wife struggling to survive abuse at the face of self-guilt and pity.

For me, apart from the amazing cinematography, the strongest point for the movie is its storyline. It tells a story that is believable in a manner that is real and captivating. There were no over-exaggerated characters and the story was simply beautiful to follow. Even if the story was told in the same manner without the Red Camera technology that was used, it would have still been a great movie because, the foundation (which is the story) was right.

Definitely the camera technology, cinematography, editing and sound engineering used in ‘Sinking Sands’ could not go unnoticed! The sharp pictures and crisp sound simply makes the viewing experience the more pleasurable. Although the pace in the movie is slow, it warms the viewer up for what follows subsequently, and each scene was very relevant to the story.  As somebody that visited the set during production, I felt that some of the amazing sceneries that were captured at the various locations were lost in editing but perhaps that’s what happens when you shoot on a good camera; you end up with many amazing shots and don’t know which to edit out.

My only major problem with ‘Sinking Sands’ is the levels of the language used. Ama K Abebrese did amazingly well trying to sound more Ghanaian as opposed to her typical British accent. Haitian Hollywood actor, Jimmy Jean-Louis didn’t sound too far off as an African either.  Yemi Blaq maintained most of his British accent because the role demanded it. And I could speculate that the Doris Sacitey’s character (principal of a small town school headed by a white guy) sounded ‘polished’ because she may have received some training abroad or from missionaries.

However, by analyzing the characters played by Chris Attoh, Akosua Agyapong and a few of the other supporting casts, they sounded a bit too polished for the ‘small town folks’ they played. I wish there could have been a more consistent attempt to sound ‘country’ across board.  Nonetheless ‘Sinking Sands’ is a great movie, the definitive new standard for Ghanaian films, and I have a feeling you would agree when you see it on November 13 at the National Theatre or later at a cinema near you.

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