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Jarreth Merz  

Jarreth Merz\' new film, \"An African Election,\" follows the 2008 presidential elections in Ghana from start to finish.

Raised in Ghana, Switzerland and Germany, Jarreth Merz is a filmmaker and actor (you may remember him  in the role of Simon of Cyrene in The Passion of the Christ).

As a director, his work is rooted in observing life as it presents itself in all its complexities -- as shown in his latest documentary, An African Election, which follows the 2008 presidential elections in Ghana, West Africa.

Merz's stepfather, a political player on Ghana, helped him get access behind the scenes; then Jarretth and his cameraman brother Kevin followed the presidential candidates in the unpredictable months leading up to the final night.

In chronicling the rough-and-tumble process of a democratic election, the documentary becomes a meditation on the dream of democracy itself.

The film screened in the World Documentary competition at Sundance earlier this year. Merz is now working on a “political safari” in Africa.

He says: "An African Election challenges the preconceived notion we have about politics in Ghana or Africa without hiding the brutal realities."

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