By Eric K. Amoh
19, GNA – International Documentary Film Director, Stuart Harmon, has taken on
the controversial subject of Ghana’s child gold miners for his first
feature-length film “The Money Stone”.
The film tells
the stories of Justice and Maxwell, two teen boys working to achieve their
dreams in deadly gold mines in Ghana.
It will make its
Africa premiere at the Black Star International Film Festival with screenings
on August 22 at 20:00 hours and August 24 at 14:00 hours at the Silverbird
Cinema at the Accra Mall, in Ghana’s national capital.
In a statement
to the press in Ghana through the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Mr Harmon said
“through the compelling stories of Justice and Maxwell, ‘The Money Stone’
offers an untold perspective of galamsey, by illuminating the complicated
family dynamics, cycle of poverty and the trillion-dollar global gold trade
behind the scourge of child labour”.
tales, the statement noted, “takes the viewer on an incredible journey through
the teens’ lives, offering rich and personal coming of age stories, unlike
anything seen before”.
that Mr Harmon began this film while working on his master’s thesis at the New
York University (NYU’s) School of Journalism and has visited Ghana several
times with his producing partner, Paula Ely.
11 years we spent filming THE MONEY STONE, I began to understand the extremely
difficult choices impoverished families have to make in order to survive. On
the one hand, children at the mines are not only in near-constant danger from
the perilous conditions, but they also have to face corrupt bosses and suffer
from an unjust political system that forces them to work as criminals. Yet,
many families choose that over the uncertainty of education, where years of
schooling and sacrifices may never pay off in a viable job."
It stated that
Harmon’s previous work includes television and documentary programmes for the
New York Times, Vice, A&E, MTV, and CNN, among others and added that the
Film Maker is the recipient of two Telly Awards.
According to Ms
Ely, his working partner’s credits include the award winning documentary
“Vanishing Cultures: Bushmen of the Kalahari.”
Stone” according to the statement made its world premiere back in October, 2018
at the Austin Film Festival and has since screened at film festivals around the
“The team has
also been the recipient of several competitive film grants as well as
participated in the renowned IFP Rough Cut Lab”, the statement added.
According to Mr
Harmon, “the film will be one of five documentaries in competition at the Black
Star International Film Festival. Stuart and the film's subjects will be
involved in a question and answer (Q&A) session after each screening”.
concluded, “Mr Harmon and his team looks forward to a spirited discussion about
the issues with a full audience”.