General News of Friday, 27 May 2011
A Deputy Information Minister, Baba Jamal, has criticized the quality and content of movies produced by filmmakers in the country.
Mr. Jamal, who was speaking at a meeting with members of Ghana’s movie industry, expressed doubts about the genuineness of the lessons that were being imparted onto the society.
According to him, Ghanaian movies in recent times have degenerated into a variety of “filthy and unchallenging teaching materials which eventually pollute the minds of the vulnerable.
Mr. Jamal, who appeared to be expressing the sentiments of a section of Ghanaians, condemned what he calls explicit sexual themes in such movies and said they were offensive to the viewing public.
He also condemned the extreme emphasis on superstitious beliefs and spirituality which are often portrayed as the ultimate antidotes to people’s problems.
Speaking to Citi News after the conference, Mr. Jamal noted that the young minds of children in the Ghanaian society are shaped by what they watch hence the need for circumspection.
“When you have movies that are showing things that happened in the 19th Century, like people slaughtering people, using juju to kill people and others destroying people’s wealth through juju and the rest, then we have a problem. Then it means we are not moving forward as a country.We need to produce mind-boggling and mind challenging films so that people can use their minds to solve problems and not to wait for any divine intervention through Jesus Christ, Mallam and deities. Our children have to be challenged to use their brains” he said.
Although the Information Ministry has a Cinematograph Exhibition Board of Control charged to censor pornographic, violent and culturally unacceptable films, it has not been effective in its work.
Mr. Baba Jamal disclosed that a Film Bill has been approved by Cabinet and will soon be passed into law, to control and protect the activities of the Movie industry.
Meanwhile members of the Industry have given reasons to justify the messages they portray in their movies.
Explaining the motives that influence movie productions in recent times, Mr. Richard Quartey, the Vice President of the Film Producers Association of Ghana, said members have tried their best to teach the morals that best suits society but have had no support from Government.
“I will simply refer to the critics as hypocritical absurdities. In that, the same crop of people who talk about all these social vices, are those who will not assist those of us who are positively willing to move Ghana forward. I came out with a very educative piece on AIDS about twenty years ago, and another movie called wicked romance which was very educative. I pumped in a lot of money but I churned out nothing. How could I be encouraged to move forward when there is no firm fund, no money or assistance from anywhere and you expect me to go back and get money and educate who? When people are buying ‘Kyeiwaa’ part One to Fifteen. So I will be discouraged” he noted.