Belgium/Netherlands, 2018, 81’
There’s a treasure trove of information to be found in the poisonous e-waste in Ghana. It’s a relatively simple matter to open up hard drives and gain access to photos and the personal details of their former owners. Equipped with a name and address, almost anybody can be found online. The film follows Ama, a young mother, who tries to become an internet con artist. A more seasoned scammer tries to teach her the craft, but she doesn’t appear to have much of a knack for it. One Dollar is a master at his craft and knows how to use his fake account to drive men crazy: they fall for the photo of a buxom woman—and for his high-pitched voice. But how much compassion can you expect from someone who is buying €250 worth of fish for his boss every week, while he is only earning €12 a month himself? Sakawa shows these fraudulent activities from the perspective of Belgian-Ghanaian director Ben Asamoah, who portrays the perpetrators from his own African perspective.
(born in 1985 in Agona Swedru, Ghana). His divorced mother Dinah migrated with him to the Netherlands when he was 3. After two years of asylum seeking, they eventually gained citizenship in Belgium, where Ben went to school. At the Royal Institute for Theatre, Cinema and Sound (RITSC) film school, Ben made a short documentary called Black, about the Western meaning of the colour black, always being linked to the negative. In The Rice Farmers, Ben’s second short documentary, he follows the daily life of rice farmers in Ghana with his signature style of controlled framing. Sakawa is Ben’s first feature documentary, produced by Inti Films.