Premiere: Cannes


Single channel 16mm colour film transferred to video, sound

79 minutes

Director: John Akomfrah

Producer: Lina Gopaul

In Testament, the condition of the postcolony is embodied in the figure of activist turned television reporter Abena who returns to contemporary Ghana, for the first time since the 1966 coup that ended President Kwame Nkrumah’s experiment in African socialism.

Adrift in a ‘war zone of memories’ Abena is caught in the tension between public history and private memory. The film is characterised by a depopulated frame and a deliberately cold look that evokes an emotional landscape of postcolonial trauma.

Awards and Nominatons

  • THE GRAND PRIZE at the Rimini Cinema International Film Festival, Rimini, Italy 1988
  • THE SPECIAL JURY PRIZE at the African International Festival of Perugia, Perugia, Italy 1989
  • HONOURABLE MENTION – San Francisco International Film Festival, San Francisco, USA 1989
  • SPECIAL MENTION for the use of archive film and music, FESPACO Burkina Faso, March 1989
  • HONOURABLE MENTION Vue’s de Afrique, Montreal, Canada April 1989

Film Festivals

  • Cannes
  • Rimini Cinema
  • Montreal World International Film Festival
  • Cairo International Film Festival
  • Carthage International Film Festival
  • Telluride International Film Festival
  • African International Festival of Perugia
  • San Francisco International Film Festival
  • Vue’s de Afrique
  • African Film Festival NY