In the simplest terms, Okwui Okpokwasili’s “Bronx Gothic” performance piece, originally launched in 2014, is a story about growing up. But Okpokwasili — a Bessie Award–winning artist who is also an actor, dancer, writer, and singer — took that relatively simple subject and turned it into an acclaimed, deeply original, and highly personal piece of art that drew comparisons to such similarly revelatory works as those by Toni Morrison and established her a major talent on the rise.
Documentarian Andrew Rossi’s newest feature, entitled “Bronx Gothic” after the piece, follows Okpokwasili as she stages a final tour for the one-woman show, which was vividly inspired by her formative years in the early-80’s Bronx. The film gives a close examination to Okpokwasili’s show, a physical and emotional shock to the system that takes form as a series of exchanged letters between two different little girls — one known as Innocence, the other as Experience. It’s breathtaking.
After first bowing at Full Frame back in April, Grasshopper Film is now releasing the film for a limited run, including a theatrical premiere at Film Forum on July 12. The film will then begin a special limited run at the NYC movie house, where fans old and new can fully savor the scope of Okpokwasili’s talent and the force of her breakout show.
Check out our exclusive trailer and poster for “Bronx Gothic” below.
“Bronx Gothic” will have a 2-week engagement, July 12 – 25, at New York City’s Film Forum.