The outrageous practice of trokosi is hardly given the dramatic treatment it deserves.
The outrageous and under-reported practice of trokosi, a religion-based form of justice-by-slavery still practiced in Ghana and other West African nations, is hardly given the dramatic treatment it deserves in the woefully conceived (and titled) “Punctured Hope: A Story About Trokosi and Young Girls’ Slavery in Today’s West Africa.” Casting actual trokosi victim Belinda Siamey as a girl punished for the supposed crimes of her male relative, director/co-writer Bruno Pischiutta flubs the opportunity to insert nonfiction into a drama. All-English dialogue track isn’t enough to raise commercial prospects for a film brought down by lumbering pacing and rampant overacting.
Younger progressive locals such as Amegatshe (Ruffy Samuel Quansah) can’t budge the elders of the village of Kpobikofe into the modern world, and matters come to a head when drunk chieftains drop an envelope of cash that’s found by Kudjo (Joseph Jones Havor). Ignoring the age-old finders-keepers rule, the elders try Kudjo for theft, but implement trokosi by nabbing Kudjo’s young relative Edinam (Siamey) and punishing her with sexual mutilation and servitude. Edinam’s torture is suggested and not filmed outright.