TFF 2016: CHILDREN of the MOUNTAIN

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It’s unfortunate that we live in a world where when you are different or special, that characteristic is not always celebrated or looked upon positively.

As we complete a weekend where the world has lost one of the most different voices in the music industry ever (PRINCE), it suffices to say that being different is sometimes the greatest gift one can be given.

In Ghana, Africa and with most men around the world, nothing pleases them more than having a son to carry on the family name.  They take great pride in that accomplishment.  However, when a that same child is born with a deformity, it is seen as a curse and the woman carrying the child is blamed for the unfortunate circumstances.

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Priscilla Anany, the writer/director/producer  in her cinematic debut of the Tribeca Film Festival  Jury winning film “Children of the Mountain” is a cinematic and storytelling genius!  Often times with these types of films, we see the after effects of a deformity from only the point of view of the child.  Very rarely is the story mostly focused on the mother and her mental state under such a painful and emotionally challenging time.  The guilt, shame, disappointment is usually always played under the surface, but Anany hangs this mother’s feelings out in the yard like laundry drying on a line in the hot summer heat.

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As many of  you know who read my blog, I watch hundreds of films and attend a multitude of film festivals, but this film right here had me in the ugly cry and I literally had to pull myself together before sitting down to pen my thoughts.

There is nothing worse than loving someone unconditionally only to have them light your feelings up in flames for all to see and judge.  Essuman would have done anything for Edjah.  She laid with him out-of-wedlock, had his child and still believed that he would come back and be her family.

Essuman (Rukeyat Masud) is having an affair with Edjah (Adjetey Anang) when she finds herself pregnant.  When the child is born with a cleft palate and multiple sclerosis, Essuman struggles to find clarity and peace while attempting to obtain healing for Nuku from spiritual leaders, medicine men and hospitals after being abandoned by his father.

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It’s only when he calls the baby a monster, blames her and literally dismisses any feelings she might have that she slips into a deep depression resulting in the unthinkable.  postpartum depression is real and will make a woman react in a way that she never sees coming. Fortunately, she finds love again and her future suddenly doesn’t seem so bleak and unlivable.

Every single actor in this film turns in breathtaking performances to where I forgot I was watching actors in a performance.  Anany’s writing is so poignant and realistic that it draws you into the story from the first frame.  I, for one can’t wait to see what she does next and hopefully have the opportunity to work alongside her.

To find out more about where to see ChildreN of the MountaiN, you can go to www.facebook.com/childreNofthemountaiN

 

 

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