This programme of films has been curated by Jacqueline Najuma Stewart, professor of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago, for Black Cinema House. Black Cinema House is an organisation that hosts screenings and discussions of films by and about the people of the African diaspora. Located in Chicago, it is a flagship programme of Rebuild Foundation, a non-profit organization that aims to rebuild the cultural foundations of underinvested neighbourhoods and to revitalize communities through culture based, artist led and neighbourhood driven activities.
For more information please see the Black Cinema House website.
The Song of Ceylon
Directed by Basil Wright
Running time: 38 minutes
The Song of Ceylon is a 1934 British documentary directed by Basil Wright and produced by John Grierson for the Ceylon Tea Propaganda Board. Shot on location in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) at the beginning of 1934 and finished at GPO studios in Blackheath, London, it was critically acclaimed and hailed by the author Graham Greene as a 'masterpiece'. Split into three sections, it features the native rituals and working practices – such as pottery and woodworking – of the Sinhalese, presenting them in their natural environment which is under threat due to advancing industrialisation. With an experimental sound track aided by Alberto Cavalcanti, it weaves sounds from different ceremonial practices with anthropological narration.
Reservation is not necessary, but places are limited. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.