Short film by Ghanaian American filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu.
“Kwaku Ananse” is an intensely personal project which draws upon the rich mythology of Ghana. The short film combines semi-autobiographical elements with the tale of Kwaku Ananse, a trickster in West African stories who appears as both spider and man. Ananse teaches us that there are two sides to everything and everyone. To explore this theme of doubleness, a fable of Kwaku Ananse is combined with the story of a young outsider named Nan Kronhwea attending her estranged father’s funeral. Nan’s father led two separate lives with two wives and two families — one in Ghana, one in the United States. Nan’s ambivalence about her father’s double life is a reflection of a broader truth about the nature of our personal relationships.
Through my film making, I hope to open audiences up to a new dialogue between the continents of Africa and America; one that incorporates more than just stereotypes, but includes both conventionalized and un-conventionalized discourses of race in its service. By creating complex contradictions, I hope that new meaning can emerge and be deposited into the universal consciousness. If I can do this by creating an experience for the audience that enables them to experience what it is like to find oneself, while being foreign in a community, then perhaps I can help that new meaning come to light. – Akosua Adoma Owusu