Want a Ghanaian film to watch? Skip the perfect pictures and hearts of men and go straight to “Bronx Princess”. Even though this film isn’t produced in Ghana or by a Ghanaian, I found more elements of Ghanaian culture and society in it than in other so-called Ghanaian movies. The film maker, Yoni Brook, and his team have certainly done a great job!!!! And it makes me wonder, how come foreigners seem to appreciate and highlight our own culture better than we do? The film’s website is http://www.bronxprincess.com/, and I believe it’s showing in a number of select independent theaters, at least in NY. I also happened upon it on Pbs.org where you can watch it for free until October 23rd! Here’s the direct link for watching the film: http://video.pbs.org/video/1248747353/program/1154485580 . So spread the news!! “Bronx Princess” is definitely a breath of fresh air! Here’s a trailer for the film:
Some of the things in the movie I found interesting (you’ll probably understand me better after you watch the film):
– Generational gap: Especially since the lead character Rocky is just about 18 years old and longs for her “freedom”. It also looks at the different points of view between she and her parents, and I must say, probably every young girl (regardless of culture, I daresay) should be able to identify to some degree. Talk about rebellious teens lol. Haha, her dad thinking she was 20 years is also classic. My dad mixes up my age too from time to time. Hmm, wonder if its intentional lol.
– Extended family: There’s a scene where Rocky visits Ghana and her father “the chief” is introducing her to people. I can so identify with her. lol. Her dad says “this is so so and so’s daughter, she’s your sister,” and Rocky has a blank look on her face. But at the end of the day, family’s the best; whether far or near!
– Religion: I was very impressed that the movie showed different elements of religion in Ghana. They showed Rocky’s mum and family praying, and then they showed some members also singing Christian hymns and songs. It’s really interesting to see the interconnection between religion and culture.
–Ghanaian sounds, accents and language: Finally, finally!!!!! No attempts at circumventing the Ghanaian accent. Love love love it! And the Twi and Ga featured. Lol, the part where Rocky complained that she didn’t understand Ga was definitely funny, with her dad telling her “you look like a rat…and I’ve been told you look like me.” And of course, the cock and sheep made their own appearance.
–The Market: The local Ghanaian market is another thing on its own!! So unique and diverse and…man, I miss it. lol
New York (USA): I think it’s great that the film showed an actual neighborhood in the U.S. and not just Times Square or any of the other glamorized places. At the end of the day, people go through similar struggles, whether it’s in Ghana or in the U.S. It’s important we get rid of our far-fledged notions of what the U.S. is.
College/University: Found it interesting that Rocky wanted to study international relations. Lol, is it me, or do most international students wanna study Economics and I.R.? The goodbye scene is also very universal I think. Probably every mother, father and guardian finds it hard to see their ward go. Lol, Freshman-15 is unavoidable!!! And home-cooked food…no comment lol. Her haircut…total flashback to SSS!
I dunno if this film is being shown in Ghana, but these are the kinda films we need. All you can ever offer to the world, is yourself. We need to showcase our culture and lifestyle, not our poor-attempts at western culture. There’s already enough of that, it’s time we build our own niches. Can you imagine the kinda films we can make based off of simple things like senior secondary school (sss) in Ghana? That alone could run for at least five years! It’s time to flip the script people!!! Cudos again to the “Bronx Princess” team!!!
Photo source: http://www.bronxprincess.com
Jemila Abdulai is the creative director, editor and founder of the award-winning website Circumspecte.com. A media and international development professional and economist by training, she combines her business, communications and project management expertise with her strong passion for Africa. Besides writing and reading, she enjoys travel, global cuisine, movies, and good design.