Movies: top Ghanaian films that will still keep you seated for hours

Estimated read time 5 min read

Ghana is a land of many things from sports to music and notably with movies as well. Both the Ghanaian industry named Ghallywood and its Kumasi-based compatriot, Kumawood have kept Ghanaians entertained for decades with actions, drama, romance and more in movies. But which Ghanaian films stand out when you stretch your neck back to the past? Here we get you five of those that if you have not watched, you should grab them now for your viewing pleasure. And if you already did, there is no better time to revise than now.

The counting begins…

Kukurantumi – Road to Accra

Among Ghana’s best and one of the first to be widely shown in Europe, the 1983 King Ampaw-directed film is still one hotcake in the industry. As recently as 2017, the film was selected as part of the movies shown to the audience at the Film Africa Festival in London by the Royal African Society. Its producer King Ampaw and star actor David Dontoh were among the invited guests for the event in London.

Written by King Ampaw and Ralf Franz, the movie sets in rural Kukurantumi where a truck driver Addey plies his trade between the village and the nation’s capital, Accra. However, he lost his truck and wanted to replace it so he opted for some dubious means to do out of desperation. He sold stolen watches and also decided to marry off his daughter Abena to a rich man but the young lady is opposed to the decision. She loves a poor young man Bob and decided to elope with him to the city but as things got worse for the young lovers, the rich man was even getting better. The movie features David Dontoh (Bob), Amy Appiah (Abena) and Evans Oma Hunter (Addey) and Dorothy Ankomah (Mary). Others include George Wilson, Ernest Youngman, Rose Fynn, Kwesi France and Felix Larbi.

Kukurantumi produced in 1983 is one of Ghana's best movies

Heritage Africa – is among the top-rated movies from Ghana

A Kwaw Ansah film touching on Ghanaian and African cultural heritage and struggles under colonialism, Heritage Africa is one of Ghana’s top-rated movies. Featuring both Ghanaian and foreign actors, the movie follows one Quincy Arthur Bosomfield who struggles to recover his Ghanaian identity which he sold to the whiteman in an attempt to help free his people from the chains of colonialism.

A scene from Azali, one of Ghana's top-rated movies produced in the 1980s

Shot at historically significant parts of Accra; Achimota School and Usher Fort Prison, the movie portrays great art of the Ghanaian culture and symbolism, leaving a permanent mark in your memory. Featuring the impressive David Dontoh, Anima Misa (Theresa Bosomfield), Kofi Bucknor ( Quincy Arthur Bosomfield), Evans Oma Hunter (Francis Essien) and Ian Collier (Patrick Snyper), it film leaves nothing out to impress. Also starring are Peter Whitbread (Sir Robbert Guggiswood), Nick Simons, Tommy Ansah and Susan Crowley.

Azali – 2018

Appearing in this list is the 2018 Sarah Dwomoh-produced drama film Azali which was directed by the story’s co-writer Kwabena Gyansah. Azali has made its name and has established its place among some of Ghana’s movies to ever hit the screens. The movie features an impressive cast that includes Ama K. Abebrese (Joan), Adjetey Anang (Akatok), Akofa Edjeani Aseidu (Rukaya), Peter Richie (Razak), Emmanuel Nii Odom Quaye (Kortey), Asana Alhassan (Amina) and Mohammed Hafiz (Seidu) among others.

In the movie, Amina is a 14-year-old girl from Northern Ghana who lives with her mother, grandmother and uncle. Life was comfortable but boring in the village and her mother wanted to free her from the shackles of rural life and as she tries to find an escape for her in order to avoid her marrying an old man as her grandmother desires, the mother mistakenly sold her to strangers. Amina moves to Accra but on her way, she meets a young boy, Seidu who is also in a similar situation and as if prepared by destiny, the two became friends.

Contrasting fortunes met the two young friends at Accra as Seidu got accustomed to life in the city and mixed well but Amina struggles for even accommodation and later resorted to prostitution due to the burden of being a head porter. She, however, later got into the twisted hands of destiny when a visit to see Seidu resulted in rape by Seidu’s boss, Razak. Seidu took revenge later by beating his boss after seeing the two in such a position. Amina got pregnant from the incident and was chased out of her residence by the landlord so she reverted to being a head porter despite being heavily pregnant.

One day she spotted a mob and as she moved closer she saw to her bewilderment Seidu was the victim and was being burnt having had the life beaten out of him. But just as things seemed to get worse, her uncle who had been in the city in search of her found her. However, things turned from good to worse instantly as Akatok saw Razak and told Amina that the man is her father. Amina returned to the village and gave birth but the identity of her child would forever remain a hidden and heavily guarded secret as the community would not accept that abomination.

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