Sankofa (1993, Haile Gerima)

Or, Django Chained… and raped and tortured, branded, starved and left for the vultures, raped some more, and whipped and whipped and whipped.

A desperately unpleasant slavery movie with a slight framing story (present-day photo model shooting on a historic slavery site gets sent back in time by a meddling drummer named Sankofa to experience slavery). At least it has a happy ending, as the remaining slaves (after some are killed or sold) attack their masters with machetes. It’s all very well-shot for an indie movie, and the actors are playing their hearts out. But Gerima is trying to make an Important Statement Here, and so the story becomes a humorless exercise in tedium.

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