British filmmaker John Akomfrah imagines the lives of a black man and woman who appear in a 16th-century drawing by German Renaissance master Albrecht Dürer. –TIFF
Born in Accra, Ghana on 4 May 1957, John Akomfrah is one of five children of Ghanaian political activists. He was educated at local schools in West London and at Portsmouth Polytechnic, where he graduated in Sociology in 1982.
Akomfrah is best known for his work with the London-based media workshop Black Audio Film Collective, which he co-founded in 1982 with the objectives of addressing issues of Black British identity and developing media forms appropriate to this subject matter.
Akomfrah’s work takes a deliberately questioning approach to documentary film. His debut as a director, the controversial and influential Handsworth Songs (1986), reworks documentary conventions to explore the history of the contemporary British black experience: the film won seven international prizes, including the prestigious John Grierson Award. Testament (1988) is a portrait of an African politician forced into exile after a coup d’etat. The emergence of Black Power in Britain is the inspiration… read more