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Rituals of Fire

Synopsis

Rituals Of Fire began the long process to screen five years ago when writer-director Joel Aryeetey, who has been making shorts and music videos through his own company for eight years, returned from working in Africa. Aryeetey penned a story about an African-American woman (Joyce Lee) living in London who longs to move to Africa, a desire that brings her into conflict with her Ghanaian-born husband (David Dontoh), a successful architect. When his firm asks him to go to Africa to head up one of its branches, disturbing memories of his childhood begin to haunt him. Once in Africa, he sinks deeper into depression and his wife seeks help from a traditional witch doctor, thus unravelling the secret behind her husband's torment.



"The film attempts to explore the spiritual aspects of African life," says Aryeetey. "My family came to London from Ghana when I was little and some of them have quite ambivalent feelings about Africa because they feel the traditions hinder progress. On the other hand, there are a lot of black people in America who have that yearning to return to the land of their origins. I wanted to address both sides."



Shot in London and Ghana over a three-month period, the film almost fell apart when Aryeetey ran out of money half-way through the Ghanaian leg of the shoot. With 90% of his crew forced to return to London, he raised support from private companies and individuals there with whom he had worked in the past.



The film premiered at the Philadelphia Film Festival in July.

Details

Year
2000
Type of film
Features
Director
Joel Aryeetey
Music
Patrick Wood.
Dir
Joel Aryeetey.
Prod/scr
Aryeetey.
Co-dir
Tom Ribeiro.
DoP
Chris Hesse,
Prod des
Ebo Quansah.
Ed
Acton Tetteh.
Main cast
David Dontoh, Joyce Lee, Alice Asiedu, Owusu Coby.
Budget
£105,000.
Funding
Private sources.

Genre

Production Company

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