The film is is the result of Lee’s notorious Kickstarter
campaign, for which he received criticism by taking advantage of a system which exists to help out filmmakers of, let’s say, a lesser economic status. He was called “out of touch and exploitative,”
but Lee still managed to raise a total of $1,418,910 for the project, which debuted as the closing night film of the American Black Film Festival after not being finished in time for Sundance or Cannes earlier this year
The reviews were mediocre at best, with our own critic writing that the “final result isn’t as good as the energy fueling it.” But mediocre reviews have never been able to get Lee down. “Making ‘Da Sweet Blood of Jesus’ is one of my most gratifying experiences in my body of work,” said Lee. “The support and love we got raising the money through Kickstarter is a true blessing. I thank everyone who brought this New Spike Lee Joint to life.”
The film stars Zaraah Abrahams and Stephen Tyrone Williams and is a reinterpretation of Bill Gunn’s 1973 cult classic, “Ganja & Hess.” The premise of the film was also rather vague from the get go, with the Kickstarter description detailing that “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus” was about, “Human beings who are addicted to Blood. Funny, Sexy and Bloody. A new kind of love story (and not a remake of ‘Blacula’).”
Thankfully, Gravitas has provided a much more official synopsis. Take a read:
A Spike Lee Joint, “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus” is a new kind of love story, one that centers on an addiction to blood that once doomed a long forgotten ancient African tribe. When Dr. Hess Green (Stephen Tyrone Williams) is introduced to a mysteriously cursed artifact by an art curator, Lafayette Hightower (Elvis Nolasco), he is uncontrollably drawn into a newfound thirst for blood that overwhelms his soul. He however is not a vampire. Lafayette quickly succumbs to the ravenous nature of the infliction but leaves Hess a transformed man. Soon Lafayette’s wife, Ganja Hightower (Zaraah Abrahams), comes looking for her husband and becomes involved in a dangerous romance with Hess that questions the very nature of love, addiction, sex, and status in our seemingly sophisticated society. A reinterpretation of Bill Gunn’s horror cult film “Ganja & Hess.” which played as a Critics’ Choice at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, Spike Lee’s stylized thriller features an Original Score by Bruce Hornsby.
Gravitas will release the film theatrically and on VOD February 13, 2015. Check out the exclusive poster below:
READ MORE: Review: Spike Lee’s Kickstarter-Funded ‘Da Sweet Blood of Jesus’ Remakes ‘Ganja & Hess’ as, Well, a Spike Lee Joint
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