The only American film selected for Critics Week at Cannes in 1973, Ganja & Hess is a genuine one-off. Made at a time when Blaxploitation was in vogue; the writer, novelist, actor and director Bill Gunn produced a Trojan horse of a movie. Using the codes of the vampire genre, Gunn’s highly stylized film smuggles in politically charged themes of black sexuality, religion, and addiction under the guise of a horror movie.
The last film in the series is the dreamlike cine-poem on socio-spatial transformation and memory, still/here by Christopher Harris. Harris’s love of cinema shines through his fragmented and thought-provoking film, as he picks over the ruins of urban decay in St Louis. Intermittent layers of sound and narration guide us on a meditative journey of return, as Harris creates a visual vocabulary of revealing absence.
With exhibition at the heart of its activities, Autograph ABP uses a variety of lens-based media to create dynamic opportunities for audiences to enjoy and connect with contemporary art. The aim of the Black Atlantic Cinema Club is to encourage debate and reflection, as well as offer thought-provoking cinema experiences. The films in this series are defiantly independent productions; the result is a unique collection of artistic and intellectually challenging films in which the political dynamics of social uncertainties and inequality are depicted with passion and a compelling emotional intensity.
The Black Atlantic Cinema Club is an initiative delivered by Autograph ABP with support from the BFI, awarding funds from The National Lottery. Partner venues include Home (Manchester), Watershed (Bristol) and mac birmingham.