The Power Plant

Sankofa, part of the film series Resistance & Revolution: The Cinema of Haile Gerima

Sat Apr 13 2019

2:30 PM – 4:00 PM

TIFF Bell Lightbox
350 King St West

Image from Sankofa, courtesy the director.

Saturday, 13 April 2019, 6:30 PM

TIFF Bell Lightbox
TPP & TIFF 365-Level Members $9.75 | Public $14

Dir. Haile Gerima
1993 | 125 min

Starkly aware of the history of slavery in the United States, African American model Mona takes part in a photoshoot at a Ghanaian slave fort. A mystical drummer, calling on the spirits of enslaved ancestors to return home, puts her into a trance, transforming her into Shola, a slave woman on a plantation in the South. There, she experiences the horrors and the many moral and psychological traumas endured by countless men, women, and children. As suggested by the word sankofa — Twi for “go back and get it” — she returns to the present with a renewed perspective.

The screening will be introduced by Aboubakar Sanogo. Aboubakar Sanogo received his MA and PhD from the USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles. He is cross-appointed with the Institute of African Studies, the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture, and the Curatorial Studies program at Carleton University, where he is currently the graduate supervisor of the Film Studies program.

Following the screening, filmmaker Haile Gerima will engage in conversation with Cameron Bailey, TIFF Artistic Director & Co-Head and will take questions from the audience.


Haile Gerima is an independent filmmaker and professor of film at Howard University. Born and raised in Ethiopia, Gerima emigrated to the United States in 1967. He studied acting in Chicago before entering the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. His thesis film, Bush Mama (75), received international acclaim, and his Ethiopian drama Harvest: 3,000 Years (76) won the Silver Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival. Gerima continues to distribute and promote his own films, including Teza (08), which won the Grand Jury Prize and Best Screenplay Award at the Venice Film Festival.

This Haile Gerima mini-retrospective is a celebration of a remarkable film-maker, a complement to two of The Power Plant’s Winter 2019 exhibitions, and represents co-presentations of five films with The Power Plant and Art Gallery of Ontario, Hot Docs, and TIFF.

More Films in this Series

Harvest: 3,000 Years


Imperfect Journey


For more information on the Resistance & Revolution: The Cinema of Haile Gerima film series, please contact programs[at]