Queen Of Glory

Reviewed by Vaughan Ames

'Queen of Glory' tells the story of Sarah, a Ghanaian in New York who is planning to move with her 'soon-to-be divorced' boyfriend to Ohio when she gets the news that her mother has died. She is forced to go back to Brooklyn to organise her funeral, where she has to take on her mother's strange Christian bookshop and the ex-convict employed there, whilst putting up with her estranged father who has returned from Ghana for the funeral. There is some sweet comedy in the conversations and situations, as well as a sense of chaos as she tries to cope with it all.

Nana Mensah wrote, directed and stars, which was no coincidence; as a Ghanaian, she was offered no decent parts, so she decided to write her own. She could then find no director who understood what she wanted so decided to do this too. Finally, struggling to get backing to make the film, the 30 days filming expanded into seven years before 'Queen of Glory' hit the screens. So, was it worth it?

From my point of view, the low budget dominated the movie; it was both beautifully naïve and crisp – no wasted expansion of plot here – whilst also suffering from lack of continuity – it was hard to work out if she had been back for one day or a month. I found this all added to the comedy and enhanced the feeling of sympathy for Sarah; she was drowning under the pressure of trying to balance her own life as a doctoral student against the pull of her Ghanaian roots. I liked it, as did most of the audience, though a fair number were not so impressed.