Movies Tue, 31 May 2011

Tension Over ‘Uncle Atta’

The political temperature in the Eastern region has risen sharply, as President John Evans Atta Mills visits the region today amidst reports that operatives of the National Security from the Castle stormed the Opera Square on Saturday and collected over 13,000 CDs of a new movie with the title, ‘Atta Mortuary Man’.

Incidentally, producer of the much-talked-about new movie which attracted a lot of controversy, Eric Asante, is a Koforidua-based businessman.

The seizure of the CDs has attracted a lot of condemnation from members of the public after it made headlines yesterday, especially when Baba Jamal, a deputy Minister of Information jumped into the fray, defending the outrageous decision of the National Security operatives.

Baba Jamal, a Jihadist, told Peace FM that the 13,000 copies of the movie were seized because the producer did not complete censorship procedures.

He further explained that though the movie itself had been censored and approved by the Cinematography Board, its posters and advertising were not scrutinised before going public.

Mr Jamal said until the adverts and posters have been properly censored, the movie should not be sold. However, Ghana Cinematography Exhibition Board of Control, under the Ministry of Information, which gave the green-light for the release of the film, has condemned national security operatives who carried out the raid at Opera Square, according to reports monitored on Citi FM.

The name ‘Atta Mortuary Man’ became popular after the NDC’s founder and former President, Jerry John Rawlings, made reference to an ‘Atta’ friend of his, who works in the mortuary at the 37 Military Hospital, during a speech at the NDC’s Congress in Tamale in 2010.

Another film producer, Kofi Asamoah’ fears his new movie titled, ‘Oh Uncle Atta’, may also be prevented from being released onto the market, although it has no political connotation.

Ken Addy, a member of the Ghana Cinematography Exhibition Board of Control, told Citi Fm the content of the movie ‘Atta Mortuary Man’ had nothing to do with politics. He said the action of the national security officers was unwarranted.

“This film has gone through the right process. It has come through the Board. It has been previewed and classified and it has been given permission to be put out on the open market. I again checked with the Secretariat whether anybody from the National Security contacted the Secretariat on this issue before the action that was taken, and the answer was ‘No’, which I feel very hurt about, because otherwise what is the purpose of the body?

“The body is to regulate films that come into the open market and this film has gone through the process. So if anything at all, the National Security could have checked and then the Board would have made it known to them that the content of the film has no bearing on any particular person, but they didn’t and I feel very sad about that,” he said.

“The Board would therefore speak to the National Security to find out why they did that because as at now, I do not know their reasons for what they did,” he added.

Checks by Citifmonline indicate the ‘Atta Mortuary Man’ movie is a comedy in which the lead actor, Agya Koo, playing the role of Atta, is a susu collector who, after embezzling the amounts he had collected from the residents, decided to ran away from the vicinity.

Finding himself in a new locality, he had to take odd jobs to survive and settled on being a mortuary attendant.

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