Black Film Festival Returns to The Parrish

Pictured Above: Film Still, Neptune Frost, c. Chris Schwagga

The Parrish Art Museum and the Bridgehampton Child Care & Recreational Center continue their history of partnership with the third, two-day Black Film Festival outdoors at the Museum, on Friday evenings August 19 and 26.

Part I on Aug. 19 features “Neptune Frost (2021, 105 minutes), a visually brilliant sci-fi punk musical that brings unique dynamism to an Afrofuturist vision. Guests are encouraged to wear Afropunk attire to celebrate the film, self-expression, music, and art. The evening begins at 7 p.m. with a curator tour of the new exhibition “Another Justice: US is Them,” followed by a reception at 7:30 p.m. and the film at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $5 for members and friends of the Bridgehampton Child Care & Recreation Center.

On Aug. 26, the short film “Kinks, Locs, and Love” is followed by a discussion on Black hair with a panel of experts. Both programs include a tour of the ” led by Corinne Erni, Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs and Senior Curator of ArtsReach and Special Projects. The Aug. 26 event begins at 5 p.m. with a tour of the current exhibition, followed by a 5:30 p.m. reception and the film and panel discussion at 6 p.m. Tickets to this evening are also $15 for general admission and $5 for members and friends of the Bridgehampton Child Care & Recreation Center.

Presented at Cannes, Toronto, Sundance, and the New York Film Festivals, “Neptune Frost” is an empowering film and a call to reclaim technology for progressive political ends. Directed by Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman, with executive producer Lin-Manuel Miranda, it was dubbed “the future of Black film” with “pure cinematic power” by the Hollywood Reporter. 

The film is set in the hilltops of Burundi, where the metallic, radioactive ore colton is mined under harsh conditions for miniscule wages. With a group of escaped coltan miners, Neptune—an intersex runaway (played by both Elvis Ngabo and Cheryl Isheja)—and Matalusa (played by Kaya Free) form an anti-colonialist computer hacker collective that attempts to take over the authoritarian regime exploiting the region’s natural resources and people. With hypnotic visuals and original songs composed by musician and co-director Saul Williams, this celestial cyber-musical offers a radically bold vision of power, exploitation, and love.

“Kinks, Locs, and Love,” directed by Lawrence Green, documents hair journeys from perms to natural hair of women of African descent, primarily in the Washington D.C. area. It also sheds light on the natural hair community through events, businesses, fashion figures, and bloggers. 

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with dermatologist Dr. Achiamah Osei-Tutu and others to be announced, on Black hair and its importance to health, sense of identity, community and culture.   

Both events include a tour of Another Justice: US is Them—Hank Willis Thomas | For Freedoms, led by Corinne Erni. This new exhibition is a call to the community to reconvene and reconsider what justice can be in a time of imbalance. It features 12 contemporary artists with nearly 30 works in mixed media, sculpture, site-specific installation, wall painting, and photography—many created specifically for the exhibition.

Presenting artists include Zoë Buckman, Pamela Council, Jeremy Dennis, Jeffrey Gibson, Eric Gottesman, Christine Sun Kim, Muna Malik, Joiri Minaya, Koyoltzintli Miranda-Rivadeneira, Kambui Olujimi, Hank Willis Thomas, Marie Watt. Each artist has collaborated with For Freedoms—the artist coalition co-founded by Thomas with Eric Gottesman, Michelle Woo, and Wyatt Gallery with the mission to model and increase creative civic engagement, discourse, and direct action.

The Black Film Festival is dedicated to presenting award-winning feature films and shorts celebrating Black culture and raising awareness about issues that specifically impact Black communities, selected by a committee representing the Parrish, BHCCRC, The Witness Project of Long Island, and the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, Office of Minority Health.

Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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