Documentary in Bloom

October 10th - October 16th at 7:30 p.m.

Curated by Livia Bloom

Two Films by John Akomfrah: Seven Songs for Malcolm X and The Last Angel of History


In conjunction with the theatrical premiere of John Akomfrah's The Nine Muses (2011) at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Maysles Cinema presents the U.S. theatrical premiere of two foundational films by the British-Ghanaian pioneer filmmaker.


Seven Songs for Malcolm X

Dir. John Akomfrah, produced by the Black Audio Film Collective, 1993, 52 min.

An homage to the inspirational African-American civil rights leader, Seven Songs for Malcolm X collects testimonies, eyewitness accounts and dramatic reenactments to tell the life, legacy, loves, and losses of Malcolm X. Featuring interviews with Malcolm's widow Betty Shabazz, Spike Lee, and many other, SEVEN SONGS looks for the meaning behind the resurgence of interest in the man whose X always stood for the unknown.


The Last Angel of History

Dir. John Akomfrah, 1996, 45 min.

An examination of the relationships between Pan-African culture, science fiction, intergalactic travel, and computer technology, Akomfrah's Afro-futurist documentary posits science fiction as a metaphor for the Pan-African experience of displacement, alienation and otherness. The film intertwines the work of musicians including George Clinton and Sun Ra with the writing of black science fiction authors Samuel R. Delaney and Octavia Butler. Images of Pan-African life from different periods of history are edited together with interviews with leading cultural figures including DJ Spooky, musician Derek May, astronaut Dr. Bernard A. Harris Jr., Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols, novelist Ismael Reed, and cultural critics Greg Tate and Kodwo Eshun.

Documentary in Bloom

Presented by Livia Bloom

August 15th -21st, 7:30 p.m.


Summer Pasture

Dir. Lynn True, Nelson Walker, and Tsering Perlo, 2010, 85 min.


Preceded by:

Dreams of the Divine: A Trilogy

Dir. Olivia Wyatt, 2011, 27 min. - World Premiere

This powerful short work documents a religious ceremony of the Celestial Church of Christ on Rockaway Beach; a hipster drum performance by the all-girl drum corps Chica Vas in Manhattan; and a Haitian vodou ritual honoring the Ghede family of spirits in Brooklyn. Wyatt’s fluid, mobile camerawork and dexterous editing offers an insider’s view of three New York City communities pulsing with life and conviction.


* Thursday, August 18: Skype discussion with Summer Pasture directors Lynn True and Nelson Walker.

* Friday, August 19: Discussion with Dreams of the Divine: A Trilogy director Olivia Wyatt.


Documentary in Bloom

June 13th -19th  7:30 p.m.

Co-Presented by Cinema Tropical

Curated by Livia Bloom


The Lips (aka Los Labios)

Dir. Iván Fund and Santiago Loza, 2010, 100 min.

Winner of the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress, a prize shared by the film's three leads, this subtle and challenging mix of documentary and narrative filmmaking follows three women who deeply inhabit their cinematic roles as social workers interacting with members of an impoverished rural Argentine community. Facing desperate poverty that threatens to overwhelm even the greatest reserves of calm, humor, and empathy, the trio moves into makeshift living quarters and records data on the needs of the community, while still taking time for an occasional night out.


Following Friday’s screening there will be a Q&A with the Lips producer Ivan Eibuszyc followed by a reception sponsored by Sugar Hill Ale.

Sunday’s screening will also be followed by a Q&A with Lips producer Ivan Eibuszy.




Cinema Tropical Website: