The Burial Of Kojo (2018) Movie Script

[wind chimes ringing]
[church bell echoing]
[clock ticking]
[clock continues ticking]
[ticking fades]
[waves crashing]
[Esi as an adult] My father Kojo
had had the same
recurring dream for 7 years.
The dream where the sea
swallows the earth
and a raging fire burns.
[haunting flute music plays]
He never told anybody
about this dream.
He never told anyone it
wasnt a dream at all.
It was more like a memory.
A tragic memory he could never forget.
My father believed only the water
could cleanse the past.
So before I was born,
he moved to a village surrounded
by nothing but water.
A village far, far away.
This is where my story begins.
[water lapping and birds chirping]
[Esi continues narrating in English]
The village surrounded by water was
like no other place known to man.
Legend has it that the Snail God
carried the people on its shell,
and brought them to the
middle of the lake
where they built their
homes on stilts.
This is where my father
met my mother.
[frogs croaking]
It is said that on the
day that they met,
the frogs sang a melody
so beautiful,
the pond lit up
and the flowers bloomed.
Right there and then,
they decided to get married.
- [plucky string music plays]
- [frogs croaking]
The bride price was
one bottle of whisky,
two bags of yam,
six pieces of wax cloth,
one sewing machine,
and one large calabash
of palm wine.
My father sold everything he
owned to pay the bride price.
Not long after that, I was born.
[baby crying]
On that night,
my father said he saw
a vision so magical
he couldnt explain it.
The sky lit up
and golden droplets rained
from the heavens.
There I stood,
illuminated by the light that
poured from above.
My father asked all the
soothsayers in our village
and they all confirmed
his vision.
I was supposed to
bring prosperity
and good luck to my family.
things did not turn
out that way.
[solemn music plays]
[birds chirping]
[in Twi] So--
If you had the chance
to go to any big city,
where would you go?
I dont know.
Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi,
I dont want to go anywhere.
I like it here.
So you dont mind seeing the
same thing everyday?
[Esi] No.
And you?
So you are going to leave me?
Why would you say such a thing?
Im never going to leave you.
If you leave me, I'm going to
turn into the wind,
disappear into thin air
and find you.
You dont have to turn into the
wind and go anywhere.
I wont leave you.
I promise you.
[crickets and birds chirping]
Sit down and lets go home.
Your mother is waiting.
[thunder rumbles]
[Esi in English] My mother had
lived her whole life on the
village surrounded by water.
She longed to see the world
beyond the lake,
but my father never
had any money.
She grew tired of his empty
promises and decided--
[in Twi] Im leaving.
[Esi continues]
So she left and came back.
And left and came back.
And left again.
And every time she left,
my father waited for her in the
same exact place they first met.
But this time,
No frogs sang,
and no flowers bloomed.
[birds chirping and water lapping]
[Ama in Twi] What do you think?
We can sell the things
we don't need.
Your outboard motor.
I think we can get a lot of
money if we sold it.
[Kojo] You want me to sell my
outboard motor?
Why don't you sell your
sewing machine?
But you know this is
what feeds us.
[Kojo] So I don't contribute anything?
I won't sell anything of mine to
move to the big city.
My mind is made up.
[birds chirping]
[Esi in English] I spent most
of my time with my father.
He told me so many
interesting stories.
The beginnings only made sense
if you knew the ending,
and the endings were never
quite what you expected.
And so one day,
just like my father's stories,
a blind old man no one had ever
seen came to our village.
He told us he was from
the realm in-between
where the sky meets the earth
and people walk upside down.
He said the Crow that
ruled this realm
was trying to capture
the sacred bird
and only a child with a pure
heart could keep the bird safe.
My father did not believe a word
the old man said.
Please-- No.
I am trusting you.
Take care of it.
[Esi continues] But he didnt want to
offend him so he let me keep the bird.
That night I dreamt of the Crow
who ruled the realm in-between.
[dramatic music]
[frantic flute music plays]
[discordant strings screech]
- [thunder rumbles]
[loud screeching noise]
- [music stops]
- [loud screeching noise]
[low rumbling]
[thunder crashes]
[breathing heavily]
[Esi breathing heavily]
Ama, wake up.
Ama. Where is her medicine?
[labored breathing]
[rain falling]
[Esi gasping for breath]
[wheezing breath]
[Esi narrating]
Another stranger visited us.
But this was no
ordinary stranger.
This was my uncle, Kwabena.
[Kojo] So how is mother?
Thats why Im here.
Shes not well.
Whats wrong with your food?
I dont want fufu.
I want rice.
Here you go.
Kwabena-- No.
Buy whatever you want.
[monstrous screech]
[spooky violins play]
[frantic music plays]
[screeching noise]
[in Twi] The Crow is here to
capture the Sacred Bird.
Dont let him take it.
[bugs chirping]
[Kwabena] I'll be waiting
for you in the big city.
- [bugs chirping]
- [water lapping]
[clock ticking]
[ticking grows louder]
[ticking becomes muffled]
[muffled ticking slows]
[muffled ticking stops]
[insects buzzing]
[Esi] That night my father had the
same dream he has had for 7 years.
But this time he remembered it
exactly as it happened.
It was the night my uncle married
the beautiful bride Adwoah.
People came from far and wide to
witness the spectacular wedding.
Now everybody knew my father
loved Adwoah.
But she chose his older brother,
and it broke my fathers heart.
[car horn blares]
- [crash]
- [woman screams]
- [water lapping]
- [bug buzzing]
[birds chirping]
[man vocalizing]
[frantic flute playing]
[woman vocalizing with flute]
[music stops]
[sound of match striking]
[percussive music begins]
[drumming continues]
[drumming stops]
[radio static]
[man speaking English on radio]
The Vice President went to China
with a plan to leverage some
of our gold site deposits
to tackle the program
for industrialization.
[in Twi] This place has changed.
This is where the old filling
station used to be.
Thats moved too?
Oh, long time. neither against mining
nor against the Chinese.
[radio crackles]
You see those Chinese men?
They run things now.
[dog barks]
Everywhere you go,
they are there.
[brakes squeak]
- [traffic noise]
- [people talking]
[engine running]
[traffic noise fades]
- [thunder rumbles]
- [rain falling]
[heavy rain falling]
[somber horn music playing]
[crickets chirping]
[Kojo in Twi] Ama.
Ama wake up. I have
something to tell you.
Wake up.
[crow caws]
[crow caws]
[crows continue cawing]
[Kwabena in Twi]
You are here already.
So you finally told her
what happened.
[Kwabena chuckles]
Can you believe it?
Its been 7 years.
[Kwabena sighs]
Im sure that Im the luckiest person
right now.
Celebrating my wedding
and funeral anniversary on the same day.
[crows cawing]
[Kwabena sighs]
I forgot.
You don't drink anymore.
Well, Ill drink for us.
[crows continue to caw]
[music plays on TV]
[theme song plays in Spanish]
[Esi in Twi] So Alejandro and
Jose are brothers?
[Esi's Grandma] Yes.
[Esi] So why are they fighting?
[Esi's Grandma] Sometimes brothers
fight each other.
[phone rings on TV]
[in English] It is I,
your one true love.
He is watching us
Stay away from her.
You took something
from me brother.
It is time for me to take
something back.
I swear, I will kill you.
[in Twi] So when my father and uncle
were children did they fight?
A lot--
When they were children.
One day, if I didnt arrive early,
your uncle would have
drowned your father.
[in English] Jose is
under a lot of stress.
[yelling] It's always about Jose!
What about me?
Do you care about me, Mom?
[in Twi] So will Alejandro and Jose
stop fighting one day?
I dont think so.
Because they both love
the same woman.
Oh, really?
[traffic noise]
[in Twi]
Remember where I used to work?
Altra Gold?
I heard they stopped
work a long time ago.
It's true.
Before they closed down,
they found gold.
They found a lot of gold.
But they couldn't get all of it
before the company closed down.
So, if you're interested
we can go try there.
Altra Gold-- right now?
It sounds dangerous.
I dont think it's
going to help me.
I'm just looking for something
small to get back on my feet.
Not Altra Gold.
It's just an idea. If you're
not interested, no problem.
How many guys work for Apalu?
You can find him at
his usual place.
Sisis Bar?
[upbeat music plays]
[Esi in English] Apalu was my father
and uncles oldest friend.
They grew up together
in the big city.
He had had a tough life.
He never knew his father.
When he was only two months old
His mother abandoned him
in a hotel room and disappeared.
It earned him the
nickname Apalu,
which was the name of the
hotel they found him in.
- [baby crying]
- [childlike music playing]
[Esi continues] But Apalu didnt let any
of this stop him from enjoying life.
He run an illegal mining outfit
that my father used to work for.
Of course he was surprised to
see my father back.
[in Twi] To tell you the truth,
since you left, no one
has found much gold.
The chiefs have
sold all the land,
and the Chinese have brought
their heavy duty machines.
We cant compete with them.
All the polluted rivers
you hear about--
It's them.
[frantic flute music plays]
[loud, discordant screech]
[flute music plays]
[screeching noise]
[crows cawing]
[music continues]
[crows caw]
[Esi in Twi] Father I swear,
the crow came here.
If we don't move,
it will come back to find us.
[Kojo] I don't believe you.
It's just your wild imagination.
[dove coos]
Hey-- Hey
I've found some.
You found some?
True. True.
Here it is.
Here it is.
[excited yelling]
[in Arabic] The goods
haven't arrived yet.
What's the reason?
Thats not acceptable.
I owe people money.
I have a deal to close.
You have to finalize this operation
the best way possible, okay?
Wait a minute.
[in English] 400 Ghana cedis.
Take it or leave it.
[man] 400?
[in Arabic] Finalize this operation
and let's see what we can do.
[man in English] We'll take it.
[in Arabic] Hold on--
We need to finalize.
[man continues in Arabic]
Let's see what happens.
Let's finish, by all means,
and finalize.
Let's settle it.
Let's settle it.
[match strikes]
[crows cawing]
[in Twi] I told you, thats
how much they pay.
That money is for me, you and
the rest of the boys to share.
Thats the price these days.
So why did you come to the
village to find me?
No reason.
I missed my little brother.
Youve been gone too long,
Youve been gone
for far too long.
Forget about everything that
happened and move forward.
I moved forward.
I moved forward.
You coming back has brought
my mind back to it.
You havent moved forward.
Youve been hiding.
Hiding and moving forward,
There is a difference.
Its not the same thing.
Whatever happened, you should
be able to forgive me.
Not a day goes by that
I dont think about it.
Brother forget about it.
I wont forget about it.
I have to say it.
I know what happened
wasnt right but...
So right now what are
you going to do?
I think about it too.
But what are we going to do?
The person is dead and gone.
There is nothing you can say to
bring her back to life.
You see?
So forget about it and
move forward.
As for us--
We are waiting for you
to come and join us.
[birds cawing]
[loud screeching sound]
[Esi gasping for breath]
[Kojo] I told you,
I don't believe in those
spiritual things.
[Ama] Your mother said the
pastor has healing powers.
What's the harm in trying?
My mother is old.
If you told her to sit in church
all day, she would.
Otherwise she just watches
I will take her.
You can join us if you like.
[ominous muffled music plays]
[crow caws]
[bus accelerates]
[singing and clapping]
- Hallelujah.
- [all together] Amen.
[in Twi] We are going to talk
a little about Joseph.
- [Pastor] Amen.
- [all] Amen
[Pastor in Twi] There's a message
in it that can transform your life.
If your relatives reject you,
and the world turns
it's back on you,
The one true God
will be with you.
[all] Amen.
- Will be with you.
- [all] Amen.
- Will be with you.
- [all] Amen.
24. They took him and
put him in a hole.
The hole was deep but
there was no water in it.
And they sat down to eat.
- [Pastor] Amen.
- [all] Amen.
- [Pastor] Amen.
- [all] Amen
There were some
travelers passing by.
And when they got to
where the brothers were,
they had a sheep
they wanted to sell.
I mean Joseph.
So they took Joseph out of the
hole and sold him
to be a slave in another land.
Beloved, listen.
[music drowns out voice] You will
not be a slave till the end.
[pensive guitar music plays]
[water gurgling]
[Pastor in Twi] To be a slave in
another land. Beloved, listen.
You will not be a
slave till the end.
[all] Amen.
[muffled rumbling, breathing]
[birds chirping]
[in Twi] I think it was the Crow.
The Crow?
The Crow is who killed the
Sacred Bird.
What do you think the Crow
really wants?
I dont know.
When you find out what the Crow
wants, come and tell me.
[traffic noise]
Don't touch that cockroach.
[motorcycle revving]
[inaudible over motorcycle]
- [in Twi] Really?
- Yes.
Why didn't they test it
before they took it?
I tell you--
Almost 100 thousand U.S. dollars.
They exchanged for
the fake gold.
And you know why they
couldn't go to the Police?
Because they didn't have a mining license.
These white people are not smart at all.
It's surprising.
[tense music plays]
[frantic string music plays]
[dog barking]
[engine revs]
[woman speaking Chinese on radio]
[engine revs]
[Kojo in Twi] Now what?
[Kwabena] Forget Apalu.
He's a coward. Don't mind him.
What he's saying is true.
I don't think it's a good
idea to go back.
This is our last chance
to go to Altra Gold.
Our last chance.
I already told you, Altra Gold
is too dangerous.
What are you afraid of?
If we go and find gold-- fine.
If we don't find any-- we don't
lose anything.
It's dangerous.
It doesn't matter.
If you're brave you
will find some.
I know there's gold there.
I'll think about it.
Youll think about it?
[cheering on TV]
When you think about it--
[muffled rumbling, breathing]
[music on TV]
[in English] No, no dont worry.
He's my brother.
He is not going to
do anything.
Calm down.
[solemn flute music plays]
[water bubbling]
[music intensifies]
[music softens]
[crows cawing]
[crows cawing]
[in Twi] How deep do you think it is?
I don't know.
Did you bring a rope?
Please, Kwabena.
Please, Kwabena.
Please, help me.
[Kojo yells]
[discordant music plays]
[sewing machine runs]
[clock ticking]
[ticking continues]
[knocking on door]
[Esi in English] My mother and I
went to the bar where my father
and uncle would usually meet.
There we saw Apalu.
[in English] Good evening.
[Esi continues in English]
We asked him if he had seen
my father and he said no.
But when I asked him
about my Uncle,
he grew very confused.
He said my Uncle had been
gone for seven years.
[percussive music plays]
[thunder rumbles]
- [wind whistles]
- [thunder crashes]
[crows cawing]
[in English] I don't know if
it happens like that.
I don't know what to say.
You wanna come home,
we'll talk. Okay?
[in Twi] I will call you later.
I will call you.
[in English] Alright, bye.
[in Twi] We will send a
search party to find him.
But it's very difficult work.
[radio chatter in background]
We have to motivate the boys.
You understand?
You have something small?
Sir, I don't have any money.
Bring your voice down.
Why are you being so loud? Hmm?
[clears throat]
You don't have anything--
I don't have anything, Sir.
I don't have anything.
[officer in English] Okay.
[fan whooshing]
[birds chirping]
[traffic noise]
[horns honking]
[woman on TV in Twi]
We just heard from our reporter
about the illegal miner
who went missing.
The sad news is that
by the time they found him,
He was dead.
[upbeat percussive music plays]
[truck engine revs]
[thunder rumbles]
[whispers in English]
Okay. Okay.
Okay. One... two...
[breathing heavily]
[sobs in pain]
[breathing heavily]
[in Twi] No-- I cant die here.
[shuddering breath]
[muffled reverberating noise]
[muffled noise continues]
[high-pitched ringing noise]
[wind blowing]
[bug crawling]
[breathing heavily]
[breathing faster]
[gasping breath]
[fly buzzing]
[Esi in English] Word spread fast
about my father's disappearance.
The radio and newspapers
said the police were
not doing enough
to find him.
The police called
in one of their
best detectives from
a neighboring town.
His name was Detective Koomson.
He did everything by the book.
Within 24 hours he had
arrested the Chinese men
he believed were responsible
for my father's disappearance.
[siren chirps]
But, by the time my mother
and I arrived at the station,
the Chinese men had
been processed,
released, and already
left the country.
[clock ticking]
[ticking stops]
[somber music plays]
[Esi continues] On the 7th night,
I dreamt about my father.
I finally realized the true meaning
of the vision he had when I was born.
The night the sky illuminated,
and golden droplets rained
from the heavens,
I was the only one who could
save my father.
[wind blowing]
[whooshing sound crescendos]
[crow cawing]
Uncle Kwabena--
[in Twi] Are you the Crow?
I am whatever your mind tells you I am.
Where are you hiding my father?
Your father is where he has always been.
Where people who suffer from guilt are.
Me and Adwoa had an accident.
I said, where are you hiding my father?
Me and Adwoa had an accident
on the day of my wedding.
That night we died.
Your father was
supposed to die too.
But he lived.
We have waited for
him for a while.
We are now at the land
where the sky meets the earth,
and people walk upside down.
If your father is not with us,
we cant cross into
the afterlife.
So right now we are
waiting for him.
We are waiting for your father
to come and join us.
So if you are dead,
how are you alive?
I am dead.
But in your father's
mind, I am still alive.
But the truth is, I am
not among the living.
Your father jumped into
the mine all by himself.
What mine?
I cant tell you.
But if you want to
save your father,
then time is running out.
You will have to hurry up
because you dont have time.
Where is the Sacred Bird?
[match strikes]
[discordant screeching sound]
[tense music plays]
[water dripping echoes]
[dove coos softly]
[Esi in English] I realized,
the Crow was my Uncle,
and the Sacred Bird
was my father.
I set it free,
and it journeyed through
time and space,
through earth and sky,
until it showed me
where my father was.
[wind blows]
[solemn music plays]
[police radio static]
[in English] Sir, it's him.
You won't believe it.
[church bell chimes]
[monitor beeps]
[beeping continues]
[beeping continues]
[beeping continues]
[voice over PA]
[in Twi] Father,
I know what the Crow wants.
He wants you to come
and join him.
Don't go.
Father don't go.
Father don't go.
Don't go.
Don't go.
[woman vocalizing]
[Esi in English]
That night my father died.
I could hear the crows
There were no celebrations.
No triumphant chants.
[birds cawing]
Just a solemn welcome for my father
by those waiting to cross
into the afterlife.
[Esi continues in English]
Whenever I think about my father,
I think about the good times we had.
The stories he told me,
and the world full of magic
he introduced me to.
And I know he is always with me.
[upbeat jazz drums]
[jazz ensemble plays]
[funky music plays]
[music stops]