Directed by Haile Gerima, this story follows Mona, a contemporary American model on a film shoot in Ghana. She has a session at Elmina Castle, which she does not know was historically used for the Atlantic skave trade. There she encounters a mysterious old man, Sankofa, played by Kofi Ghanaba, the renowned Ghanaian musician.
Mona is transported to the past where, as a house servant named Shola on a plantation in the south of the United States, she suffers abuse by her slave masters. Nunu, an African-born field hand, and Shango, a West Indian lover of Shola, resist and rebel against the slave system. (Shango is named after a Yoruba god.) Nunu comes into conflict with her own mixed-race son; fathered by a white man, he has been made a head slave. Inspired by Nunu and Shango’s determination to defy the system, Shola joins them in fighting back against her masters.
After her trials, Shola returns to the present as Mona, deeply aware of her African roots.