DirectorRichard Fleischer Initial DVD releaseSeptember 27, 2005 Duration CountryUnited States
WriterStephen Geller, George MacDonald Fraser Release dateApril 12, 1979 (1979-04-12) CastMichael Caine (Dr. David Linderby), Peter Ustinov (Suleiman), Kabir Bedi (Malik), Omar Sharif (Prince Hassan), Beverly Johnson (Dr. Anansa Linderby), Rex Harrison (Brian Walker) Similar moviesW Delta Z, Mad Max: Fury Road, Blackhat, Brooklyn's Finest, John Wick, Self/less
TaglineOnly two men could rescue her. One driven by love, the other by revenge.
Ashanti movie about slave trade 1 8
Ashanti (also called Ashanti, Land of No Mercy) is a 1979 action adventure film, produced by Georges-Alain Vuille, and directed by Richard Fleischer. Despite its impressive cast and setting (on location in the Sahara, and in Kenya, Israel, and Sicily), it was widely panned by critics upon release. Michael Caine was reportedly very disappointed with the project and claims it was the third worst film along with his previous films The Magus and The Swarm (despite appearing in other failures in the 1980s), after director Fleischer and co-star Beverly Johnson, were both removed from filming two-thirds of the way through the shoot. Fleischer departed after being hospitalised with sunstroke. However, an interview with Ms. Johnson included on the 2013 Severin Films Blu-ray edition of Ashanti makes no reference to these "removals," suggesting that they may belong to myth.
This is one of William Holden's final films. Both Fleischer and cinematographer Tonti had previously worked together on Barabbas (1961).
Ashanti is an action adventure film, set against the background of modern-day slave trading, with a man who determinedly takes on a perilous journey in order to find his beautiful wife, who has been kidnapped by brutal slave traders. David and Anansa Linderby (Caine and Johnson respectively) are doctors with the World Health Organization. On a medical mission carrying out an inoculation programme, they visit a West African village. While David takes photographs of tribal dancers, Anansa goes swimming alone. She is attacked and abducted by slave traders led by Suleiman (Peter Ustinov), who mistake her for an Ashanti tribeswoman. The police can do nothing to find her and David has almost given up hope when he hears rumours that Anansa has been kidnapped by Sulieman to be sold to Arab Prince Hassan (Omar Sharif). The African authorities deny that the slave trade even exists. So David must find help in a shadowy world where the rescuers of slaves are just as ruthless as the traders themselves. As David tracks her across Africa and the Sahara desert, he is helped by a member of the Anti-Slavery League (Rex Harrison), a mercenary helicopter pilot (William Holden), and Malik (Kabir Bedi) a tribesman who is seeking revenge on Suleiman.
Michael Caine – Dr. David Linderby
Peter Ustinov – Suleiman
Kabir Bedi – Malik
Beverly Johnson – Dr. Anansa Linderby
Omar Sharif – Prince Hassan
Rex Harrison – Brian Walker
William Holden – Jim Sandell
Zia Mohyeddin – Djamil
Winston Ntshona – Ansok
Akosua Busia – Senoufo girl
Jean-Luc Bideau – Marcel
Olu Jacobs – Commissioner Batak
Johnny Sekka – Captain Bradford
Tariq Yunus – Faid
Tyrone Jackson – Dongaro
Marne Maitland – Touareg chief
Eric Pohlmann – Zeda El-Kabir
Harry Araten – Slave dealer
Jack Cohen – German at slave market
Jay Koller – Buyer at slave market
Enzo Patti – Pearl dealer
Ori Levy – Hotel attendant
During filming Omar Sharif was hired to play a role and George MacDonald Fraser, who had recently adapted Tai Pan for the producers, was commissioned to work on the script to help boost Sharif's part.
Two weeks into filming, director Richard Sarafian was sacked and replaced by Richard Fleischer. The female lead and cinematographer were fired. Telly Savalas who was in the cast had to drop out.
The novelisation Ebano was written by Alberto Vázquez-Figueroa.