Jarreth and Kevin Merz’s fly-on-the-wall record of Ghana’s 2008 election may lack the backstabbing intrigue one might associate, fairly or not, with African elections, but that’s the point of the film: it’s fascinating to witness the civil way in which the country’s people and two main parties – the conservative NPP and ‘more left-wing’ NDC – conduct themselves. It’s not all plain sailing: both parties are similar, so the first count comes to a dead heat, which leads to accusations of vote rigging. Before long it looks like it might spill over into the same level of street violence that marred similar elections in Kenya and Zimbabwe. But Ghana, one of the most stable countries in Africa, very much wants to be seen as a ‘trailblazer’ for non-violent democratic elections, and it looks like they might succeed. If only the film was a little more focused: by the end, when minor backroom shenanigans surface, we’re left as much in the dark about the whys and wherefores as the bickering parties on screen.
Friday November 25 2011
Jarreth Merz, Kevin Merz