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Interview: Akosua Adoma Owusu’s ‘Kwaku Ananse’…

Rissa Papillio | Shadow & Act   in  ·
June 13, 2015

Akosua Adoma Owusu’s latest work, “Kwaku Ananse,” is an intensely personal project for the filmmaker, drawing upon rich Ghanaian mythology, combining semi-autobiographical elements with the tale of Kwaku Ananse, a trickster popular in West African tales 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, director Owusu combines the Kwaku Ananse fable with the story of a young outsider named Nan Kronhwea as she attends her estranged father’s funeral. Nan’s father led 2 separate lives with 2 wives and 2 families – one in Ghana, and the other in the United States. Nan’s contradictory feelings about her father’s double life reflects an even broader truth about the nature of our personal relationships.

After recently winning the Special Mention prize of the Young Jury at the Cinemas D’Afrique in Angers, France, “Kwaku Ananse” is now on view in the Philadelphia Institute of Contemporary Art series “Do/Tell,” all summer long.


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