SANKOFA follows Mona (Oyafunmike Ogunlano), a Black American fashion model on a photo shoot in Cape Coast, Ghana. Through Mr. Gerima’s imaginative storytelling, she undergoes a journey back in time to a plantation in North America. There she becomes Shola, an enslaved African woman who labors in the master’s house and experiences the horrors of slavery firsthand. In becoming Shola, Mona recovers and confronts her ancestral identity and experience. While enduring monstrous trauma at the hands of white men who owned people for profit, Shola’s interactions with her fellow enslaved Africans are rich with humanity, respect and dignity for one another. Most notably, she connects with Shango (Mutabaruka), a rebellious African man who toils in the fields, and Nunu (Alexandra Duah), one of the few of the enslaved to remember her life in Africa before being stolen and terrorized by European traders.


Join us for a Q&A after the screening with: Daryle Williams, Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, UC Riverside; Jody Benjamin, Assistant Professor of History, UC Riverside; and John Jennings, Professor of Media & Cultural Studies, UC Riverside.

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  • Judith Rodenbeck

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Reserve a FREE ticket through the "Register" link on this page to watch the film. This program will broadcast live February 4th at 7:00 pm PST. You will not be able to pause or rewind. After the live broadcast, you can access an on-demand recording until February 4th at 10:30 pm PST.

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