Having tackled African folklore and European colonialism in her previous projects, award-winning filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu has turned her attention to the American Civil Rights movement of the 1950s.
Her current project, “Bus Nut,” produced by Obibini Pictures takes a fresh look at a well-known narrative – the 1955 Bus Boycott in Montgomery, Alabama. The boycott was sparked by the simple, but brave, action taken by Rosa Parks, who famously refused to give her seat on a public bus to a white passenger.
Parks was subsequently arrested for defying Alabama’s laws regarding segregation. She quickly became a symbol of the civil rights movement, and the bus boycott remained in effect for over 1 year – until the Supreme Court determined that Alabama’s segregation laws were unconstitutional.
Owusu’s short film juxtaposes recreated images and the words of Rosa Parks, against an educational video about public school bus safety. Actress MaameYaa Boafo of the hit web series ‘An African City’, who portrays the ‘Bus Nut’ in the short film, called the effect “powerful” and “jarring.”
“I thought it was powerful,” she said, “to portray these two individuals – with words from the trial of why an innocent woman had no reason to leave a bus, and footage of a little girl who dreams of always being in one.”
Owusu and TedxAccra speaker/actress Boafo are excited to work together on this film. The two have been friends, and admirers of one another’s work, for years, and are glad their schedules finally aligned.
Boafo says it was an honor to finally work with Owusu. “I believe in her vision,” she said. “I believe in her art, and I look forward to many more collaborations.”
Currently, “Bus Nut” is competing for awards at the Oberhausen Film Festival in Germany, and at the 58th San Francisco International Film Festival (where Owusu has received her 2nd Golden Gate nomination).