Continuing on with the day-to-day happenings at the ongoing African Diaspora International Film Festival here in NYC.
Starting with the highlight of the day… the opening night film, Menelik Shabazz’s The Story Of Lovers Rock, begins its 1-week run at Quad Cinema, screening at 9:40PM tonight, and every night for the next 7 days or so; see it while you can. Lovers Rock, often dubbed ‘romantic reggae’ is a uniquely black British sound that developed in the late 70s and 80s against a backdrop of riots, racial tension and sound systems. Live performance, comedy sketches, dance, interviews and archive shed light on the music and the generation that embraced it. Lovers Rock allowed young people to experience intimacy and healing through dance- known as ‘scrubbing’- at parties and clubs. This dance provided a coping mechanism for what was happening on the streets. Lovers Rock developed into a successful sound with national UK hits and was influential to British bands (Police, Culture Club, UB40). These influences underline the impact the music was making in bridging the multi-cultural gap that polarized the times. The film sheds light on a forgotten period of British music, social and political history.
A Q&A with director Menelik Shabazz will follow the screening.
Earlier in the day, screening at 1pm and also at 7:25pm, at Quad Cinema, Independent Spirit Award nominee, An African Election.
An unprecedented insider’s view of the political, economic and social forces at work in Ghana during the 2008 presidential elections depicting the pride and humanity of the larger-than-life politicians, party operatives and citizens who battle for the soul of their country.
A Q&A with director Jarreth Merz will follow after the screening.
Next, The First Rasta, screening at the Quad at 5:25pm. Thirty years after Bob Marley’s death, it is time to pay tribute to Leonard Percival Howell, The First Rasta.
At the beginning of the last century, the young Leonard Percival Howell (1893- 1981) left Jamaica, became a sailor and traveled the world. On his way, he chanced upon all the ideas that stirred his time. From Bolshevism to New Thought, from Gandhi to Anarchism, from Garveyism to psychoanalysis, he sought to find his promised land. With this cocktail of ideas Leonard “Going” Howell returned to Jamaica and founded Pinnacle, the first Rasta community.
At 6pm at Teachers College, The Storm That Swept Mexico; A fascinating story of the Mexican Revolution of 1910, its causes and its legacy. Fueled by the Mexican people’s growing dissatisfaction with an elitist ruling regime, the revolution was led by two of the most intriguing and mythic figures in 20th century history – Emiliano Zapata and Francisco “Pancho” Villa. At stake was Mexico’s ability to claim its own natural resources, establish long-term democracy and re-define its identity. More than ten years in the making the film offers a thorough exploration of the beliefs and conditions that led to the revolution, influenced the course of the conflict, and determined its long term consequences in Mexico, the USA and beyond.
Raymond Telles, the director, will be present for a Q&A after the screening!
Those are just a few highlights on the program for today. Download the full schedule HERE if you haven’t already.