Synopsis by Mark Deming
Blending historical fact with African legend, this film takes an unusual look at the effects of the slave trade, exploring the complicity of African rulers in this crime against human dignity. In West Africa in the 17th century, King Adanggaman (Rasmane Ouedraogo) has aligned himself with slave traders from Europe, ordering tribes of Amazons to attack unfriendly villages and set their homes on fire. When the villagers attempt to escape, the slavers kidnap the Africans and send them away to be sold. Ossei (Ziable Honore Goore Bi) is a young man whose village has so far been spared, but when he refuses to wed the daughter of an important family, instead taking the hand of the woman he loves, he sets off a chain of events culminating in a raid on his home and the abduction of his mother (Albertine N'Guessan). Ossei vows to steal his mother back to freedom, enlisting the help of one of the Amazon raiders, Naka (Mylene-Perside Boti Kouame), whose own abduction as a child allows her sympathy for her victims. Adanggaman received its North American premiere at the 2000 Toronto Film Festival, where it was shown as part of the "Planet Africa" series.
freedom, marriage-arranged, slave-trader, slavery