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On Monday of Last Week follows a Nigerian woman on her journey to self-realization. Kamara takes on a nannying job caring for Josh, the five-year old son of Tracy and Neil, an interracial couple living in an upscale urban home. Under Neil’s direction, Kamara settles into a routine of prepping Josh for an academic competition and feeding him the latest kids’ health craze. The noticeable absence of Josh’s mother, Tracy, and her occasional outbursts heard from her artist’s studio in the basement intrigue Kamara. Kamara’s growing curiosity is piqued when Tracy finally emerges from her studio one afternoon. The brief encounter causes Kamara to launch into an unexpected attraction, wanting nothing more than an excuse to see Tracy again.
I was inspired to adapt Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s short story On Monday of Last Week after living in Ghana for two years promoting Kwaku Ananse, a coming of age film adaptation of popular mythology from Africa and the African diaspora. This film was my first attempt at making a fiction narrative short. Traveling to festivals and museum institutions around the world, I was compelled to return to the States and create a new work by adapting literature from contemporary African writers. The themes of race, liberalism and sexuality in Adichie’s short story On Monday of Last Week resonated with my films on the “triple consciousness” of the African immigrant as I transition between experimental cinema, fine art and African tradition to complicate the nature of identity. On Monday of Last Week is very much in line with themes I’ve explored in previous works, specifically conventional beauty and identity, including my award-winning short Me Broni Ba (2009) and my forthcoming feature Black Sunshine.
Combining creative practices to find a new cinematic language, On Monday of Last Weekrenders literary text through moving image. This fiction short film bridges the gap between the film and art worlds. Filmed using both digital and traditional 8MM, I would like to draw attention to juxtaposition and stark contrasts; blurring the lines between fantasy and reality, light and shadow, intimacy and distance, the quintessential upper class Brooklyn starter family and the life of a Nigerian immigrant from the Bronx in New York City. The mood between the central characters Kamara, Tracy and Neil is laced with tension and ambiguity. These moments become almost voyeuristic as the Nigerian character, Kamara becomes an object of attraction to Josh, Neil and Tracy.
ABOUT AKOSUA ADOMA OWUSU
Akosua Adoma Owusu (born January 1, 1984) is a Ghanaian-American avant-garde filmmaker and producer whose films have screened worldwide in prestigious film festivals, museums, galleries, universities and microcinemas since 2005. Named by Indiewire as one of the 6 Avant-Garde Female Filmmakers Who Redefined Cinema, and one of The Huffington Post‘s Black Artists: 30 Contemporary Art Makers Under 40 You Should Know, Akosua Adoma Owusu was a 2013 MacDowell Colony Fellow and a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow. Through her production company Obibini Pictures LLC, she produced award-winning films including Reluctantly Queerand Kwaku Ananse, which received the 2013 African Movie Academy Award for Ghana for Best Short Film in Nigeria. Reluctantly Queer was nominated for the Golden Bear and Teddy Award at the Berlinale, Berlin International Film Festival in 2016. Her forthcoming feature, Black Sunshine received support from Creative Capital, Tribeca All Access, IFP and the Berlinale World Cinema Fund. She is the protégé of filmmaker Kevin Jerome Everson at the University of Virginia and represented by Andrew Farber at Farber Law LLC.
ABOUT CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie grew up in Nigeria. Her work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared in various publications, including The New Yorker, Granta, The O. Henry Prize Stories, the Financial Times, and Zoetrope. She is the author of the novels Purple Hibiscus, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and Half of a Yellow Sun, which won the Orange Prize and was a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist, a New York Times Notable Book, and a People and the Black Issues Book Review Best Book of the Year; and the story collection The Thing Around Your Neck. Her latest novel Americanah, was published around the world in 2013, and has received numerous accolades, including winning the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and The Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Fiction; and being named one of The New York Times Ten Best Books of the Year. A recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, she divides her time between the United States and Nigeria.