Saturday, 16 June 2012

Ghana Rising Hearts: Ashanti (1979)

Beverly Johnson


There are films I love and cherish and then there are films I can watch over and over again’ -films I just can’t get enough of..

Fresh every viewing -and offering new revelations, -I have about ten or so films that drive me crazy including: the incredible Imitation of Life -a story about ‘passing‘, Island In the Sun -I can’t get over how incredible Harry Belafonte looks, he’s sooo stylish and timeless, -then there’s Federico Fellini’s uber stylish La Dolce Vita, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Cleopatra, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woof, Cat on a Hot Thin Roof -yep I love the late Elizabeth Taylor, Vogue’s September Issue -and the above, Ashanti -where you just can’t take your eyes of Anansa played by Beverly Johnson, who’s not just beyond beautiful but has the same Akan face as my cousin Tina….

Coming from the school of all things fashion, Anansa’s beautifully made-up face and scraped back hair and that long neck at the end of the film makes you want to get dressed up, -she’s truly a goddess!!!

Beverly Johnson’s elegant model body in that uber light delicate red kaftans -has inspired many a fashion collections. And ’that’ beautiful dress with the dangerously plunging neckline when she’s about to be sold to the prince, played by gorgeous Egyptian actor, Omar Sharif -is a triumph in how we sisters can dress like a goddess - when we ’need-to-turn-it-on!!!

But the most poignant part of the film is when Anansa turns to her husband played by the superlative, Michael Caine whilst he’s photographing the Senufo people, the main Senufo character is beautifully played by our very own -Akosua Busia, -and she utters something along the lines of, “why are you photographing the Senufos, my people the Ashanti’s are much more interesting”…. Now whether the Ashanti’s are more interesting than the Senufos is up for debate, -but its such a powerful line -and for me, earth shuttering words the first time I heard them….

If you’ve never watched Ashanti -its worth ordering it online -it’s a classic and an incredible story with some very beautiful people…


More Info…
Ashanti is an action adventure film, set against the background of modern day slave trading, with a man who determinedly takes on a perilous journey in order to find his beautiful wife, who has been kidnapped by brutal slave traders. David and Anansa Linderby (Caine and Johnson respectively) are doctors with the World Health Organization. On a medical mission carrying out an inoculation programme, they visit a West African village. While David takes photographs of tribal dancers, Anansa goes swimming alone. She is attacked and abducted by slave traders led by Suleiman (Peter Ustinov), who mistake her for an Ashanti tribeswoman. The police can do nothing to find her and David has almost given up hope when he hears rumours that Anansa has been kidnapped by Suleiman to be sold to Arab Prince Hassan (Omar Sharif). The African authorities deny that the slave trade even exists so David must find help in a shadowy world where the rescuers of slaves are just as ruthless as the traders themselves. As David tracks her across Africa and the Sahara desert, he is helped by a member of the Anti-Slavery League (Rex Harrison), a mercenary helicopter pilot (William Holden), and Malik (Kabir Bedi) a tribesman who is seeking revenge on Suleiman.. Credit:

1 comment:

  1. I remember watched that movie when i was a teen in France; This is a very good and sad movie;