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What goes through the mind of a mosquito, you may wonder? What drives those tiresome bloodsuckers and their endless buzzing which disturbs the sleep and well-being of millions of people? The Underestimated Villain is a short film which offers some answers told from the perspective of a famous serial killer named Anopheles.

Recently launched in Ghana, The Underestimated Villain was directed by award-winning British-Ghanaian filmmaker, Comfort Arthur, a British-born Ghanaian animator, illustrator and visual artist.

Arthur’s team commissioned Poetra Asantewa, a Ghana-based poet and spoken word artist, to create a beautiful and engaging poem that explored failures in human behavior towards malaria prevention and treatment.

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The result is a five-minute screenplay which follows the escapades of a famous mosquito, as she preys on her victims and transmits the malaria parasite. Mostly narrated by Anopheles herself, the plot is centered on her answering a simple question, “What does it feel like to be you?” Her biting sarcasm and mocking rhetoric makes for witty dialogue.

Commenting on the impact of combining animation and poetry, Comfort said, “As a director, I was interested in the tones portrayed in the piece and wanted the protagonist to be seen as an unstoppable villain that was popular and famous. We wanted to lighten up the subject by adding a touch of dark humor this way.”

The film is available in six local languages including English, Dagbani, Ewe, Ga, Hausa, and Twi. ‘The Underestimated Villain’ is part of a trio of films commissioned by UK charity, Comic Relief and global healthcare company, GSK through their Fighting Malaria…On Screen initiative.


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