A good cinema is all about coming up with an engaging situation and a well-written screenplay. Keteke (2017), a comedy film from Ghana by Peter Sudufia is a fine example of it – how a simple story with two main characters, happening over a few hours can be told. The film is available for free viewing for a month (June 12 to July 13th 2020) from Institut Francais.
Boi & Atswei (who is in her late stage of pregnancy) are trying to go to the city & then to her mother’s village for the birth of their baby. They miss the morning train going from the station near their village. They decide to walk to the next station, but the journey doesn’t go smooth, they get tired, thirsty and hungry – the walk stretching to hours. During the tiring walk, like any other married couple, they argue about the other’s life choices, fight over whose mother is worst, but deep down have a strong love for the other.
The entire film for 70 minutes happens in the African countryside, near to the railway track surrounded by banana trees and crops everywhere. A beautiful setting. You see no one else other than the couple in most of the frames, which adds a bit of mystery and serenity to the whole story.
Did they reach the next station and catch the train safely? That has been told in a realistic sense, with little cinematic exaggerations. There are a few cliches like wizardry but they are not overwhelming or overshadowing in any way.