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The Burial of Kojo: An almost polished African film

May 21, 2019 at 08:00 am | Opinions & Features

Francis Akhalbey

Francis Akhalbey | Staff Writer

May 21, 2019 at 08:00 am | Opinions & Features

Art as an escape point is the broadest landmark to narrowing the figment of imaginations and to palpably augment the structures and struggles layered in reality. While some school of thought adherents demonstrably are inspired by the therapeutic visualizations in motion pictures, others by dual propitiation are awed by the entertaining particulates that is permissible by its substrate. But which ever modality that arts either motion picture or cinematographic classic looks to explore, the apparent reality of genuine expression of emotion can’t be haphazardly labelled.

I’ve been going back and forth over how properly to capture this film, ‘The Burial Of Kojo‘, by Blitz Bazawule also (BLITZ the AMBASSADOR) in a written review. Its been tormenting and psychologically tumultuous on my part regarding how to tackle the movie without having to feel in the end the inaccurate representation and flawed superficiality that would be done to this classical piece of cinematography. Beautiful or grotesque, the ultimate truth of a writer’s scope must not exclude his awareness of the reality employed by another artist’s creativity. Much as this writeup might seem skewed in construct, it represents in shrewd opaqueness the writer’s personal percipience.

First, let me give you an unbiased pointer that this film won’t appeal so much to everyone — especially for the ‘commoner’ whose consumption is so much bubbled in the usual. Its taste, pace and subtlety is a bit off the normal curve. It’s punctuated with gross lamentations that trigger and provoke questions when watching to the tune of why this and that style or narrative was adopted by the filmmaker.

In a story that is told through a peculiar magical lens, Esi narrates how his father Kojo whose death was unraveled in her dream of an evil crow and sacred bird material abstraction; where her uncle, Kwabena (herein Kojo’s brother) the supposed evil crow could cause her father’s demise. Revealing with a hauntingly but beautiful imagery, every plotline and scene is reminiscent of a typical African or more specific, Akan-Ghanaian bloodline betrayal as exposed in quintessential materialism.

By an extensive setting, Kojo’s intuitiveness to settle in the stilts with the reflectiveness of the lake to shoulder his back off the plights and emotional attachment to his old self didn’t truly yield as the constant dream visitations of his daughter, Esi, became quite a telltale with figurines walking with their heads down. Unsurprisingly, like most Akan matrimonies, Kojo in spite of his marriage is still in the benches of an affection for his past love sting. Convinced by Kwabena, Kojo heads back to town to engage in illegal mining so as to wash his family off its impoverished status culminating in his entrapment in a mine pit . Esi embarks on a startling quest to rescue her father which is told through the nasal narrative of Ama K Abebrese.

With a sublime eyes for picking on the Ghanaian canker, Galamsey (illegal mining), which has become outrageously impervious to tackle, the typical Ghanaian culture of greed and selfishness is realized when in the most sad scenario of Kojo’s disappearance, a police officer demanding from Ama ‘small money’ to enable him help her in pressing the police sheets to search for the whereabout of her husband, Kojo. Herein the Chinese superior syndrome of exploitation of Gold without any regard to the pollution and generational abuse of the land, becomes succinctly glaring with this film. How these Chinese stamp on the resources of the land of this country ubiquitously shows the weak governmental structures and polarized institutional machineries that confronts Ghana and most natural resource endowed countries in Africa.

Detective Koomson’s quest at crossing slippery boundaries in the search for Kojo is of the everyday African on the exposure terrain, descend with caution, anti-cline road mapping. His determination to unravel the mysterious whereabout of Kojo makes him realize how ineffective and distrustful the police service has become. This was evident when the police officer in charge allowed the Chinese Galamsey operators (illegal miners) to go scot-free typifying an Aisha Huang (the infamous Chinese illegal miner) incident as witnessed not quite long ago in Ghana.

The thoughts provoking visuals, intelligently camera angle shots and neatly immersive nature, however, ephemeron in the mind’s elongation protracts the storytelling brilliance in an expansive communicative modicum that tells the story better even without the usual plotline dialogues. The motion articulation as subscribed in the movie and employed is an ample universality of supra-expressionism. In a classical supervaluationism, maybe the filmmaker looked beyond his own imaginativeness and becoming overwhelmed by its substantiality, became entangled in somewhat superfalse sorcerous congeniality which most often than not do not situate the Akan cosmological pattern the story was riding along, unless in a fictitious antecedent.

‘The Burial Of Kojo’ no matter how its looked at or reviewed, isn’t one of those movies/films that supercharges the consumer from the go. Its slow, less rekindling pace, undertone walk through and suspense-filled storytelling modality with its raw feel is difficult to synch with until the end. Beyond the improbable borderline of its unusual nature of expression, this is an almost perfect epic showman of realism vis-á-vis magic — extrapolated in portraying pious poignant poetic narration that is impervious of its beauty and substance.

Author: Abeiku Arhin Tsiwah

Abeiku Arhin Tsiwah is a Ghanaian Smartphone Enthusiast //& Content Critic. He’s the Poetry Editor at Lunaris Review (a Journal of Arts & the Literary, Nigeria) & the Creative Director at The Village Thinkers (a Creative Writing & Arts Society, Ghana). The 2018 Shortlisted Poet for both African Writers Awards /&/ West Africa Citizens Awards has had his works published in Afridiaspora, Peeking Cat Poetry, EXPOUND, Whispers, Novel Masters, African Writer, Agbówó, Tuck Magazine, Africa Redemption Magazine, The Liberian Literary Magazine & elsewhere.

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