Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Relationship challenges - issues in Sinking Sands movie

'Sinking Sands' follows 'I Sing Of A Well' (ISOAW), from the stable of director, Leila Djansi from Ghana. I had been really excited about this movie with the casting of Haiti's Jimmy Jean-Louis and Ama Abrebrese. After watching Sinking Sands, I had one word. Unique. It was unlike any Ghanaian movie I had ever seen. And that's the major reason why you should see it. I already wrote a movie review but in this post, I want to talk about some of the issues the movie raises.

The movie also reminds me of a great blog post my friend wrote about relationships. How much of one's dreams and wants must one sacrifice to be in a serious relationship? Do we lose ourselves by becoming 'attached'? Do we have to sacrifice our own happiness and does happiness take a new meaning? Do partners take out their frustrations (whether borne from inside the home or out of it) on each other? Obviously, they share the good times as well.

Does the Ghanaian society consider mature women who are single as strong women? I felt our society respects women who are married more. It's almost like women have to be married to be taken seriously in many spheres of Ghanaian life. Do we see them as such because they are dealing with the challenges of their careers alongside the challenges of raising and keeping a family together?

Perfect Picture dealt with a couple who had trouble making love, Scorned dealt with a couple not in love, Sinking Sands deals with another couple where loves goes sour. Its couple is in distress with abuse involved. This occurence is not foreign to Ghanaian families and many people will be able to relate. The movie will get many people thinking about how long people can sustain abuse. The question of divorce and separation also comes up. I personally am not a fan of both but the movie seems to make a case for them. Watching this movie gives us an example to make the debate rage on.

When relationships go sour, where do people seek refuge? Do they seek refuge by sleeping with others. Is it sex that people want and something they need to find? Some people claim 'angry sex' is the best kind, but is 'make up sex' critical in a relationship? I always thought how it was interesting for people to address the problems in the relationship with others and not themselves. It's almost as if it's impossible to do the latter.

This begs another question. It's been said since time immemorial that men like to cheat. But do men cheat because their relationships are being problematic as opposed to them just wanting 'something' different? Another interesting subplot here is who do men cheat with? Their girl friends whose identities are unknown to their partners? Prostitutes? Someone they meet at a bar where they have gone to drink their problems away? Let's not leave the women out, because like I heard on a TV show recently, "women also have their needs".

At what point is enough enough? What will people say? Ghanaian relationships, especially marriages, tend to involve more than two people. What people make of it becomes really important. People will talk but they are not suffering the problems in the relationship. The people who do are the families and that's why they have the ability to keep these relationships together. I am beginning to realise a lot of Ghanaians families that are separated or divorced. Interestingly, it happens mostly with upper class families. Is this correlated to the career and family business? Are upper class and educated couples too smart to co-exist?

Do new entrants into the relationship - like kids - change the game and force the relationship to remain? A friend told me the other time, you don't have to marry someone simply because you have a kid with them. I guess that equates to, you don't have to stay with someone simply because you have a kid or would have one with them as well. I am a fan of broken homes. I will love to see all families happy but it's a reach with this world that we live in. Abortion, let's leave that debate for another time. It does come in Sinking Sands as well with some interesting scenes.

How the movie ends is for you to find out. In my opinion, I would like to see our marriages last and work out. Marriages are not only built on love, they are built on companionship and longevity. Domestic abuse departs from all these building blocks. Love alone can not solve all, neither do apologies. I don't know what it is but sometimes the solutions to some problems require more than love. Maybe that's what the Love Guru and folks like Oprah can tell us. Mensa Otabil? Akumaa Mama Zimbi? Leila Djansi? :-) She did write Facebook page. I'm not saying the movie is her answer but the movie, Sinking Sands, does have an answer. Go and see it. Follow on Twitter @sinkingsands
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