Me Broni Ba Poster

“What’s unique in Akosua Adoma’s film is the mixture of fact and creative storytelling; the clash of jazzy tunes, documentary footage, slow motion images, and audio and sound tracks that shift in and out of synch. It’s a mood piece, a meditation, a refusal to judge. It’s also edgy, fresh, and fun to watch.” - MTV

“This interesting mixture of live-action footage and animation addresses issues of race, culture, hair, and beauty… A thought-provoking film.” - Booklist

“Subjugation this subtle is easy to deny until Owusu’s camera has shown it to you. She eschews overt didacticism, and her film is more powerful for it.” - Washington City Paper

 

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Me Broni Ba is a lyrical portrait of hair salons in Kumasi, Ghana. The tangled legacy of European colonialism in Africa is evoked through images of women practicing hair braiding on discarded white baby dolls from the West. The film unfolds through a series of vignettes, set against a child's story of migrating from Ghana to the United States. The film uncovers the meaning behind the Akan term of endearment, me broni ba, which means “my white baby.”
O confuso legado do colonialismo europeo en África é evocado mediante imaxes de mulleres practicando trenzados con vellas bonecas occidentais. Este poético retrato das perruquerías de Kumasi, en Ghana, desvélanos o significado que se esconde tras a expresión cariñosa ‘me broni ba’(o meu bebé branco).
In einem Haarsalon in Kumasi, Ghana, üben Frauen die Kunst des Haarflechtens an abgelegten weißen Kinderpuppen, die mit der Altkleidersammlung ihren Weg nach Afrika gefunden haben. Ein Vermächtnis des europäischen Kolonialismus: das weiße Schönheitsideal. Akosua Adoma Owusus setzt formal unterschiedlichste Materialien gegeneinander und verbindet sie kunstvoll mit der Geschichte eines kleinen Mädchens, das mit seinen Eltern in die USA geht. Dort findet sie eine weiße, blonde Freundin und hat nun, wovon alle Kinder in Ghana träumen: ihr eigenes, lebendiges weißes Baby.
Un portrait lyrique des salons de coiffure à Kumasi, au Ghana. L’héritage emmêlé du colonialisme européen en Afrique est évoqué à travers l’image de femmes qui pratiquent le tressage de cheveux sur de vieilles poupées blanches venant de l’Ouest. Comment grandit-on quand on est une petite fille ghanéenne confrontée aux standards blancs de beauté ?
Krøller eller straight? Skønhedsidealer skifter, men hår er der heldigvis masser af. Så meget ved vi, men spørgsmålet er, hvem der dikterer modens luner - og hvad modens luner kan fortælle os. Ghanesisk haute coiffure er for eksempel en kunstnerisk disciplin, der historisk har krævet både mange hænder, fagligt avancement og hvide legetøjsdukker fra vesten at øve sig på - og spejle sig i.'My White Baby' remixer den traditionelle, antropologiske dokumentar (samt den klassiske fortælling om euro-kolonialismen) i en tummelumsk og opfindsom blanding af både former og formater. Akosua Adoma Owusu erstatter genrens autoritære voice-over med gamle radioreklamer og korsang - og sender det hele tilbage, hvor det kommer fra. Krøllet, listigt politisk og 'based on a true story'.

Credits:
directed, produced, & filmed by: Akosua Adoma Owusu
production company: Obibini Pictures
story: Adwoa Adu-Gyamfi
camera: Akosua Adoma Owusu, Betzy Bromberg, & Dustin Thompson
editor: Romulo Alejandro
animator: Christian Robinson
sound desgin & mix: Nathan Ruyle
colorist: John Hawk
music: Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings courtesy of Daptone Records, Fela, & ROB
country of production: Ghana, USA
distributor: The Cinema Guild