Seven Songs for Malcolm X

October 1, 1993

The Black Audio Film Collective’s seventh film envisioned the death and life of the African American revolutionary as a seven part study in iconography as narrated by novelist Toni Cade Bambara and actor Giancarlo Espesito. The stylized tableaux vivants that memorialise Malcolm’s life referenced the early 20th century funeral photography of James Van der Zee’s The Harlem Book of the Dead and the elemental static cinematography of Sergei Paradjanov’s The Colour of Pomegranates.

Handsworth Songs

January 1, 1986

The Black Audio Film Collective’s acclaimed essay film, 'Handsworth Songs', examines the 1985 race riots in Handsworth and London. Interweaving archival photographs, newsreel clips, and home movie footage, the film is both an exploration of documentary aesthetics and a broad meditation social and cultural oppression through Britain’s intertwined narratives of racism and economic decline.

Twilight City

September 15, 1989

A fictional letter from a daughter, Olivia, to her mother in Dominica is the narrative thread connecting interviews from (predominantly) black and Asian cultural critics, historians and journalists. The choice of occupation for the daughter, a researcher, perhaps strains the narrative conceit too far. Nevertheless, for an avowedly political documentary the result is absorbing.

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