Kwaku Ananse

A film by Akosua Adoma Owusu | 2013 | 26 minutes

Drawing upon the rich mythology of Ghana, this magical short film combines semi-autobiographical elements from the filmmaker’s life with local folklore to tell the story of a young American woman who returns to West Africa for her father’s funeral, only to discover his hidden double identity. Kwaku Ananse is a traditional West African fable about a being that is part man and part spider, who spends years collecting all the wisdom of the world in a wooden pot. As he tries to hide the pot in a tree, he can’t find a way to place it high up in its branches. When his little son, Ntikuma shows him the way, Kwaku Ananse becomes so angered, he throws the pot down onto the ground. It bursts and the wisdom seeps away. Everyone rushes over, hoping to salvage what they can. Nyan Koronhwea returns to her father Kwaku Ananse’s native Ghana for his funeral. They had lost contact with each other a long time ago. She has mixed feelings about her father’s double life with one family in Ghana and another in the United States. Overwhelmed by the funeral, she retreats to the spirit world in search for Kwaku Ananse.