Thursday, 24 June
SUMMER SCHEDULE! Doors open 8.30PM. Jeffrey's intro + film start 30 minutes later than usual, at 9PM
BUSH MAMA * 1975 * Directed by Haile Gerima * 97 minutes * In English, no subtitles
Everything about this film is fucking explosive. It smashes onto the screen with such a visceral force, kicking home some pretty bitter lessons. It captures the heartbreaking racism, hardships, poverty and violence that black communities in America have to endure. The film centers on female protagonist Dorothy and charts her poverty, her memories, her endurance, and her growing awareness of her brutal situation. Her husband fought in the Vietnam war, returned home a psychological wreck, was arrested and tossed into jail. She is therefore a single parent, and the welfare people are always at her door threatening to take her child away. That's the way it works in America - first they drive you into poverty, and then they take your children away because you don't have any money. I would love to see Disney make a movie about that someday.
Although this film centers on a single family household, it encompasses an entire environment, an urban ghetto in California. A poverty-stricken reality that drives the black population crazy, and then shoots them down when they explode. Director Haile Gerima was born in Ethiopia, and came to the states to study filmmaking at UCLA. Shot on a minuscule budget, this was the director's thesis project. You can already see he is a director with a fierce vision. He shows incredible dexterity - swerving between a sharp documentary style, free form experimental cinema, surrealism, poetry, and piercing drama. The freedom he uses in shooting this story is what real cinema is all about. In doing so, he is able to depict social reality as a nightmare better than any other film I've seen.
Are you still smitten by the American dream? Then maybe this flick is the antidote. It has a searing tone. It's emotional, it's unbearable, and it reveals the essence of American society. A place with the biggest prison population on this planet, that guns down minorities without recourse or regret, that has the biggest military budget in the world, and still has the death penalty in some places to boot. This flick was part of the 'L.A. Rebellion' scene, a cinema movement of the 1970s that dealt head-on with crucial issues of their day, not least racism. They felt form and content should be fused together to create something totally new, so the films always had an experimental and political flair. Because of the crucial nature of these movies, they were suppressed, marginalized, or outright banned. In keeping with its hard-hitting subject matter of inner city racism, the narrative is set to an improv blues-jazz soundtrack.
Outrageously rare screening. Hope to see you there.
Doors open at 20:30, film starts 21:00 * Visitors limited to 16.
Date & Time:
- 3-5 €