2013 Sundance Docs in Focus: THE STUART HALL PROJECT

stuart hall projectThe final Sundance alumni director in this year’s World Cinema Documentary Competition: From the UK, John Akomfrah’s THE STUART HALL PROJECT, a profile of the British cultural theorist in jazz and images.

Sundance Program Description:

A person’s culture is something that is often described as fixed or defined and rooted in a particular region, nation, or state. Stuart Hall, one of the most preeminent intellectuals on the Left in Britain, updates this definition as he eloquently theorizes that cultural identity is fluid—always morphing and stretching toward possibility but also constantly experiencing nostalgia for a past that can never be revisited.

Filmmaker John Akomfrah uses the rich and complex mood created by Miles Davis’s trumpet to root a masterful tapestry of newly filmed material, archival imagery, excerpts from television programs, home movies, and family photographs to create this lyrical and emotionally powerful portrait of the life and philosophy of this influential theorist. Like a fine scotch, THE STUART HALL PROJECT is smooth, complicated, and euphorically pleasing. It taps into a singular intelligence to extract the tools we need to make sense of our lives in the modern world.

Some Background:
Akomfrah is a Sundance alum with his previous film, THE NINE MUSES (2011). Ghana-born and London-raised, he became one of the leading voices in Black British filmmaking through his work with the Black Audio Film Collective. Beyond screening his films at major international festivals like Toronto and Venice, Akomfrah has directed numerous projects for British television. As with THE NINE MUSES, he is joined once again by his longtime producing partners Lina Gopaul (a co-founder of BAFC) and David Lawson of Smoking Dogs Films.

Why You Should Watch:
Akomfrah’s films are consistently intriguing and intellectually rigorous, which makes him a perfect match for his similarly thoughtful subject. Both men’s work directly engages with race and identity in a complex, thought-provoking manner, and if some American viewers might not be as familiar with Hall as British audiences are, this biography, beautifully constructed from his own presentations and interviews, will serve as an absorbing introduction.

More Info:
For more information on Akomfrah and Smoking Dogs Films, visit their website. For screening dates and times at Sundance, click the link in the first paragraph.


Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

2 responses to “2013 Sundance Docs in Focus: THE STUART HALL PROJECT

  1. Pingback: Sundance 2013 Review: John Akomfrah’s ‘The Stuart Hall Project ‘ | Shadow and Act « Habari Gani, America!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.