The Ghanaian Movies… Ills Or Thrills?
The Ghanaian movie industry has over the years entertained viewers but recent trends in this still maturing industry have got many questioning if Ghana as an independent country, with its culture and society has lost direction, and if violence, greed and lust have taken over our lives to such an extent that it has eroded our morality.
Movies have long been a medium under fire virtually from its invention, and the slowly increasing prevalence of violent, disturbing and sexual content on most of the blockbuster Ghanaian movies has become an uncomfortable phenomenon. Many of the more recent movies have gone as far as to glorify violent criminal behavior and sexual desires. One can hardly finish any of the latest Ghanaian movies without having some sort of crime drama and sexual content on the schedule. Increasingly, these movies have gotten more and more gruesome and sexually violent, but unfortunately these are the most watched movies as well.
Even the local sitcoms and soap opera dramas are also constantly pushing the envelope to see which can have the most sexual innuendo, and children these days could watch and discuss themes that can have a lasting effect on their ability to judge right from wrong.
Just recently the video of a Ghanaian lady who was supposedly displaying her nudeness on camera was all over the internet, and many have attributed this brash behavior to the psychological influence of the sexual scenes in most Ghanaian movies which make it seem normal in society.
Motion pictures are also becoming more and more brazen and almost desperately violent. Movies such as ‘Kiss me if you can’ or ‘Heart of Men’ have been disapproved of by critics and most people were of the view that it misrepresented the Ghanaian culture.
Although movies are meant to give viewers a chill or even make them laugh, over- dramatizing has been known to disturb sensitive viewers in a profound manner, hence the genre of movies with explicit sexual content were blamed in the past for popularizing prostitution.
Till recently, Ghanaian movies had never dealt with such strongly immoral themes, and Kwabena Amaning, a concerned parent who spoke to the SCANDAL on this issue maintained that if Instead of leaving much to the imagination, celebrities like Majid Michael, Van Vicker, Jackie Appiah, Yvonne Nelson and the rest act movies about the Ghana Empire, Mali Empire, Sudan Empire or even illustrate movies that depict the lives that took place in Ghana many years ago, it will be educative as well as entertaining.
Mr. Amaning stressed that this move would surely educate the younger generation about what their forefathers did to make Ghana what it is today, and History students would benefit from such movies as well.
Unfortunately, movies today seem to thrust the immoral productions in your face, and the rise in film sales are an obvious indication that more and more people are enjoying these types of sexually motivated films, and this raises concerns about the falling morals of society.
Storylines of local movies have moved into very awkward and delicate positions, resorting to promoting prostitution, adultery, fornication, lesbianism, immoral dressing, crude languages, and other forms of vices which do not focus on character development but increases the curiosity of children who usually watch, making them most susceptible.
The Ghanaian movie industry has obviously come a long way since the days of ‘I Told You So’, ‘Love Brewed in the African Pot’, ‘Heritage Africa’, and ‘kukurantumi- The Road to Accra’, and though the mention of these movies brings nostalgic memories to most ardent movie patrons, Ghanaians are relieved to witness the revolution in the industry with producers such as Abdul Salam Mumuni, Shirley Frimpong-Manso, Leila Djansi, Kwaw Ansah and a few others.
This revolution brought with it the rise of Agya Koo and his Kumawood comrades who filled television screens with stories of unending parts coupled with witchcraft and exaggerated comical antics in almost every movie released.
These movies are watched by many, including children, which goes a long way to have adverse effects on them. It is also worrying to see children playing fetish and sorcery roles assigned to them by the director in charge of that particular movie.
Not only does this practice have an effect on the children and some viewers, but it also casts a slur on the nation, which portrays Ghana as a fetish country, since the local dialect is translated into English and sold outside the country.
These witchcraft movies have been known to have an incredible impact on the mindset of growing children, because they don’t have strong intellectual discerning abilities to reveal such movies for what they are, and the dark energy of such movies penetrates them unfiltered and sows its seeds in the unconscious mind of the children, creating fear, suspicion and paranoia.
Besides these problems the Ghana movie industry is facing, most movie makers in Ghana also take delight in stealing foreign movies and retelling them in their own productions, and the embarrassing part is that they take the good foreign stories and spoil it with their weak plotting.
The latest trend is where the same movie is given different titles to scam the consumer. A movie like ‘Familiar strangers’ and ‘For Better For War’ among others are just examples of movies unsuspecting people bought only to realise that they are the same storylines with the same cast.
Story telling as a function of literature must mirror the society, and even if the story is fiction, it must mirror the particular place the story is told from. Unfortunately when one watches Ghanaian movies, one is forced to question if the story line really happens in Ghana.
This is because most of our movies have settings and themes of high aristocratic lineages and practices, which actually never existed in Ghana. They end up spoiling our culture and society, and children neglect their studies and physical games to spend more time on this kind of entertainment, which is very worrying.
Technology is said to be the driving force of the media, but even with the influx of technology, there are still a lot of movies which shame the industry. A movie is supposed to make believe happenings of life on screen, whether real or fiction, and not a beauty pageant.
Our movies will be better if directors look beyond physique of actors and actresses in their casting process and concentrate on the talents of the individuals. ‘Most school drop-outs these days see movie making as God’s answer to their misfortune. Movie making should be seen as any other ‘professional’ career, not some kind of a hobby. Until this is done, our movie industry will continue to live in the eclipse of the other industries and we will continually embrace them at the expense of ours’ Mrs. Antwi, a part-time actress told the SCANDAL.
‘Moviemakers must know that movies are not produced because one has the money. Until this happens, our movie industry will continue to live in eclipse of other industries’ an aggravated media student told the SCANDAL.
‘Looking back, some of the Ghanaian classic movies from yester years even when there were no hi-tech sophisticated cameras to really show the effects, proved from the script that the writers had something upstairs, and not just wanting to make productions for sale’, he added.
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