“PASTOR PAUL”— “The World’s First American Nollywood Film”


“The World’s First American Nollywood Film”

Amos Lassen

In his first film, director Jules David Bartkowski brings us “Pastor Paul” about a white tourist in West Africa who is possessed by a ghost after acting in a Nollywood movie.

Filmed in Ghana and Nigeria in 2013, “Pastor Paul” explores the remarkable confluence of New African Cinema; Christianity and Witchcraft and satirizes the classic imagery of the “white man in Africa.”

When Benjamin (Bartkowski), a white tourist travels to West Africa, he is cast in a micro-budget version of “Hamlet” and is possessed by a ghost anything can and does happen in the film that the director is also the writer and the star.

Benjamin is an inept, geeky mathematician who sets out on a mission to discover the hidden formulas in the rhythms of African drumming. It is then that he’s asked to act in a movie by Kubolor (Wanlov the Kubolor, one half of the Ghanaian hip-hop duo FOKN Bois), a famous Nollywood actor. Somewhat confused, Benjamin agrees. However, on the set he has seizures and speaks in tongues thus horrifying the crew yet accidentally giving the director exactly what he wanted. Benjamin returns to his research, seeking out drummers in remote villages but his possession reoccurs and he wakes up the next morning in an abandoned house where he faces whether or not he will be able he be able to rid himself of this strange spiritual malady in time for the movie premiere. 

Everyone on screen looks like they’re having a great time making the movie and this is passed on to the audience.

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