Ghanaian movie posters

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When video cassette films reached Ghana in the early 1980s, entrepreneurial operators travelled with video recorders and tv sets to villages, to show violent and often bloodthirsty films in primitive open-air cinemas.

A delighted and noisy audience seated on wooden benches behind a fence of planks or sheets to watch the films.

These film sessions needed to be advertised and because one advertising poster was sufficient for each village, local painters were set to work to produce an arresting image.

They used the inside of a flour sack which, once split open, provide the perfect size for a large and durable advertising painting. The artists, who prior to the age of video had honed their talents on advertising signs, often for hairdressing businesses, discovered a new artistic freedom.

Sometimes the artists simply copied the illustration on the cover of the video cassette, but more often they gave their own interpretation to the film.

The mobile cinemas passed their peak in the mid-1990s when television and video recorders became common in Ghana and all the films could be watched at home.