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When Ephraim Asili, known for his short experimental films, turned to feature-length film making, he set this hybrid film in his hometown of Philadelphia. The Inheritance draws on his experience in his twenties as a member of a Black collective and on the histories of the MOVE liberation group, notoriously bombed by the police in 1985, and the Black Arts Movement. An ensemble of actors creates a “speculative reenactment” of his activist household, with cameos by real-life MOVE members Debbie Africa, Mike Africa Sr, and Mike Africa Jr, and poet-activists Sonia Sanchez and Ursula Rucker. Asili employs his own collection of Black art, photos, posters, books, and music, as well as archival footage, which together comprise a complex personal and public cultural inheritance. The film also references Jean-Luc Godard’s La Chinoise (Asili calls it “a critique and an homage”) through its formal experimentation, including bold colors and a mix of scripted scenes, direct address, improvisation, and quotations, but it distinguishes itself by enacting an ongoing history of Black activism and artistry.

  • Year
    2020
  • Runtime
    100 minutes
  • Language
    English
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Ephraim Asili
  • Cast
    Nozipho McClean, Eric Lockley, Chris Jarell, Julian Rozzell Jr.