Two Films by John Akomfrah In conjunction with the theatrical premiere of John Akomfrah's "The Nine Muses" (2011) at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Maysles Cinema presents the U.S. theatrical premiere of two foundational films by the British-Ghanaian pioneer filmmaker.
"Seven Songs for Malcolm X" (Dir. John Akomfrah, produced by the Black Audio Film Collective, 1993, 52 min.) An homage to the inspirational African-American civil rights leader, Seven Songs for Malcolm X collects testimonies, eyewitness accounts and dramatic reenactments to tell the life, legacy, loves, and losses of Malcolm X. Featuring interviews with Malcolm's widow Betty Shabazz, Spike Lee, and many other, Seven Songs looks for the meaning behind the resurgence of interest in the man whose X always stood for the unknown.
"The Last Angel of History" (Dir. John Akomfrah, 1996, 45 min.) An examination of the relationships between Pan-African culture, science fiction, intergalactic travel, and computer technology, this Afrofuturist cinematic essay posits science fiction--from alien abduction to genetic engineering--as a metaphor for the Pan-African experience of forced displacement, cultural alienation, and otherness. Akomfrah's analysis is rooted in an exploration of the works of artists such as funkmaster George Clinton and his Mothership Connection, Sun Ra's use of extraterrestrial iconography, and the writings of black science fiction authors Samuel R. Delaney and Octavia Butler. In keeping with the futuristic tenor of the film, images of Pan-African life from different periods of history are intercut with interviews with leading black cultural figures, including DJ Spooky, musician Derek May, astronaut Dr. Bernard A. Harris Jr., Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols, novelist Ismael Reed, and cultural critics Greg Tate and Kodwo Eshun as the film jumps through time and space, and from the past, though the future, and into the present.
Part of the ongoing series "Documentary in Bloom"
ABOUT THE SERIES: Film curator Livia Bloom's series "Documentary in Bloom" is a monthly and bi-monthly program highlighting challenging, controversial, and though-provoking new documentary films of outstanding artistic merit. The series offers a unique opportunity for audience members to discuss the films with each other and with the films' creators in a community setting.
Maysles Cinema (View)
343 Lenox Ave.
New York, NY 10027