A film by Ephraim Asili
2017, 77 minutes
No. 293

From the director of The Inheritance, and made over the course of seven years and shot on 16mm in Brazil, Canada, Ethiopia, Ghana, Jamaica, and the United States, this revelatory cycle of five short films collapses time and space to reveal the hidden resonances that connect the black American experience to the greater African diaspora. Encompassing history, politics, music, dance, poetry, and ritual, The Diaspora Suite is by turns playful, surprising, moving, and a radical interrogation of colonialism’s legacy in its construction of a one-of-a-kind, global vision of pan-African identity.

Each film in the series has a unique rhythm built around a specific amalgam of footage shot in American and international locations — each an important site within the African diaspora. Forged Ways (2011) travels between Harlem and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; American Hunger (2013) features Philadelphia, Ocean City, and Cape Coast, Ghana; in Many Thousands Gone (2014), Harlem and Salvador, Brazil; in Kindah (2016), Hudson, New York, and Jamaica; and in Fluid Frontiers (2017), Detroit and Windsor, Canada.

Forged Ways
(2010, 15 min, Ethiopia & United States)

American Hunger
(2013, 19 min, Ghana & United States)

Many Thousands Gone
(2014, 8 min, United States & Brazil)

(2016, 12 min, United States & Jamaica)

Fluid Frontiers
(2017, 23 min, United States & Canada)

Total running time: 77 minutes

“Asili’s work is critical and speculative, listening intently to the resonances of words and gestures that span centuries and oceans.” - Ekrem Serdar, The Brooklyn Rail