Black Sunshine

Not available for screening anymore

    Black Sunshine

    Directed by

    Ghana

    2018

    80 min

    • Akan

    Drama

    MY WHITE BABY previous work from director Akosua Adoma Owusu available on Festival Scope

    BLACK SUNSHINE tells the story of hairdresser, ROSEMARY KONADU, and her 12-year-old albino daughter, COCO. Rosemary longs to escape her frustrating African reality. She feels ashamed of birthing an albino child, and ironically, of her own Blackness. An insecure and disenchanted single mother, Rosemary relies on skin lightening products and unavailable men to escape her own reality. In hopes of rescue, Rosemary pursues a tempestuous love affair with JEAN SAVANT, a European man, only to find in him a merciless reflection of her own miserable existence. Unloved and neglected by her mother, Coco struggles to find her place in the world. A lonely wanderer, she finds solace in a mysterious boy, FORTUNE. Through Fortune, Coco explores what it feels like to belong and is tempted to follow his call into the world beyond. Black Sunshine examines albino Africans as tropes for cross-cultural identity while creatively engaging in representations of beauty and unbalanced power relations in the intricacies of everyday life.

    Director's Statement

    BLACK SUNSHINE explores the otherness of African albinos, which refl ects the profound sense of alienation we all often feel. The fi lm is personal as I am a product of Ghanaian and Western cultures. I feel of two cultures and also a member of neither. I identify with my character, who is African and albino. While the condition of African albinos is extreme, we all can feel visibly noticeable yet socially invisible. I wish to show this universal human condition in a compelling drama set in Ghana. Albinos are chastised and killed in parts of Africa and the world because of their skin. My fi lm examines conventional beauty, emotional violence and albinos in family dynamics

    Production
    OBIBINI PICTURES
    Akosua Adoma Owusu

    Akosua Adoma Owusu

    Ghana

    Instead of ‘Africanizing’ Western stories, I’m interested in reclaiming African history rendering them into what is happening in the present day.

    Akosua Adoma Owusu (b. 1984) is a Ghanaian-American filmmaker, producer, and cinematographer whose films address the collision of identities where the African immigrant located in America has a triple consciousness. Interpreting the notion of “double consciousness,” coined by sociologist and civil rights activist W. E. B. Du Bois to define the experience of black Americans negotiating selfhood in the face of discrimination and cultural dislocation, Owusu aims to create a third cinematic space or consciousness. In her works, feminism, queerness, and African identities interact in African, white American, and black American cultural environments. Named by IndieWire as one of six preeminent “avant-garde female filmmakers who redefined cinema,” she was a featured artist of the 56th Robert Flaherty Film Seminar programmed by renowned film curator and critic Dennis Lim. Owusu has exhibited worldwide, including at the Berlinale, Rotterdam, Locarno, Toronto, New Directors/New Films (NY), and London (BFI). Her film Kwaku Ananse won the 2013 Africa Movie Academy Award. Her film WHITE AFRO won the Medien Patent Verwaltung AG Prize at the 2019 Locarno Film Festival. Her work is included in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Centre Georges Pompidou, and the Fowler Museum at UCLA. She has received fellowships and grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Knight Foundation, Creative Capital, the MacDowell Colony, the Camargo Foundation and most recently from the Residency Program of the Goethe-Institut Salvador-Bahia. Currently, she divides her time between Ghana and New York, where she works as a visiting assistant professor at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.

    Selected Filmography