by Garrett Bradley, USA 2019, 30'
PHOTOGRAPHY: Akasha Rabut, BLVXMTH   PRODUCER: Lauren Domino, Catherine Gund 
EDITING: Garrett Bradley   LANGUAGE: sound

Schermo dell'Arte - Archivio Film  

in collaboration with Black History Month Florence and American Academy in Rome 

In 2014, the MoMA in New York restored and showed an unpublished silent film from

1913: Lime Kiln Club Field Day, directed by famous Bahamian entertainer Bert Williams. The

cast was entirely African-American actors, a rarity for that era. Fascinated by this cinematic

rediscovery, African-American director Garrett Bradley decided to trace the history of black

cinema from Lime Kiln Club Field Day to the present. According to research conducted by

the Library of Congress, at least 70% of silent films made in the United States between 1912

and 1929 have disappeared. It’s likely many were made by African American directors, for

an African American audience. In America Bradley tries to bridge this historical gap through

archival materials and documentary strategies. In thirty minutes of black and white images,

the director intertwines scenes from Bert Williams’s silent film with twelve of his own

short films, inspired by African American historical figures who’ve become “invisible”. The

soundtrack was composed by Trevor Mathison, a founding member of the Black Audio Film

Collective. The film was made for the Whitney Biennial 2019.

Garret Bradley 
Born in 1986 in New York, she works

primarily with video and photography.

With her works she aims to

push the formal boundaries of photography

and film by combining an

impressionistic technique with the

control of traditional cinema. Bradley

received awards from the Art Matters

Foundation, the Ford Foundation,

the Warhol Foundation, and in

2017 was the recipient of the jury

prize for short films at the Sundance

Film Festival. Her works have been

screened at the Getty Museum in

Los Angelse, Hammer Museum in

Los Angels, the TriBeCa Film Festival

in New York and the International

Film Festival in Rotterdam.



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