Videos » Films

An African Election (T/F 2011) by Jarreth Merz

Available from Hulu.

At the same time Obama was facing off against McCain in the U.S., and other African countries were flaring into violence, Ghana held a crucial election. An entire continent watched: can Ghana set a new standard for the democratic process? Viscerally exciting and filled with surprising reversals, the film follows charismatic former president and coup leader Jerry Rawlings, dropping us amidst swirling, chaotic rallies and votes tallied on makeshift tables on the street, with residents shouting out numbers in unison(!). We also go behind-the-scenes in private strategy meetings and in the tense Strong Room, where election results are tabulated, and itâ??s clear that stakes could not be higher. Capturing the vibrancy of the Ghanaian streets, the filmâ??s cross-cut editing is frequently thrilling. What emerges is not the stereotypically backward, unstable place of a thousand TV reports, but a vibrant Africa poised for great things.

Watch a TED talk from director Jarreth Merz.