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by Garrett Bradley
USA 2019, 30′
Presented at Lo schermo dell’arte 2019, 12th Edition
EDITING: Garrett Bradley
PRODUCER: Lauren Domino, Catherine Gund
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In 2014, the MoMA in New York restored and showed an unpublished silent film from 1913: Lime Kiln Club Field Day, directed by famous Bahamian entertainer Bert Williams.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.
Selected Filmography
2018 The Earth Is Humming – 2017 Alone – 2016 Like – 2015 Cover Me- 2014 Below Dreams