In order to amplify Black voices, we’re revisiting films created by Black filmmakers presented at past Ann Arbor Film Festivals. This week we’re focusing on the films from Remnants of a Dream, a special program shown at the 57th AAFF curated by filmmaker, Amir George. The films represent a recollection of global black experiences and are directed toward paths of healing.
Based in Chicago, Amir George founded the Cinema Culture, a grassroots film programming organization, and co-founded, with curator Erin Christovale of Black Radical Imagination, a touring series of experimental short films. As an artist, George creates spiritual stories, juxtaposing sound and image into an experience of nonlinear perception. George’s films have screened at institutions and film festivals including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, Anthology Film Archives, the Glasgow School of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Trinidad and Tobago International Film Festival, BlackStar Film Festival, Afrikana Film Festival, and the Chicago Underground Film Festival. George is a programmer at True/False Film Fest.
Remnants of a Dream
There are five types of memory: long-term, short-term, explicit, implicit, and autobiographical. Through these forms of memory, we retain a limited amount of information. Memory never recaptures reality. Memory reconstructs reality. Reconstructions change the original, becoming external frames of reference that inevitably fail. Seldom do we fully remember our dreams after sleep, only remnants. These remnants are reconstructed into a new narrative that our memory shapes. Our memory can be a rekindling of the moments that shook us most – a pool party gone wrong, a summer on the brink, a disaster within the days of youth, our ancestral struggles, and our own desires. Memories are infinite time capsules, repurposed, and passed on. We must will ourselves to confront the memories that affect us the most.
Check out the films that were a part of Remnants of a Dream below, a few of them are available to watch online.
He Kind of Like Skipped Over Me and Tells All My African American Friends to Go Sit Down
Chicago, IL | 2016 | 9 | digital file
This work contains pieces of an interview with Dajerria Becton, a 15-year-old girl who was attacked by a police officer in 2015 while attending a predominantly white pool party in McKinney, Texas, where the black teens were forcibly removed.
Summer Before Spring’s End
Miami, FL | 2016 | 6 | digital file
A young man dreams of a perfect day but suddenly gets hit with a harsh reality which
tempers his views on the best season of the year.
Her Name in My Mouth
London, UK | 2017 | 6 | digital file
Invoking a lineage of female ancestors through embodiment, gesture, and the archive, Her Name in My Mouth reimagines the Aba Women’s War, a major anti-colonial uprising in Nigeria in 1929.
London, UK | 2016 | 3 | digital file
Accompanied by a lilting soundtrack, characters wander through London’s concrete jungle as the narrator reflects on the current state of the city and her imagined future.
Anansi Knowbody and Thomas Lamont
Chicago, IL | 2018 | 8 | digital file
An abstract personification of the trap warlock.
Remnants of a Room
Milwaukee, WI | 2017 | 4 | digital file
This film reflects on a series of paranormal encounters that the filmmaker’s father experienced at age 12.
Black Water Midnight
Chicago, IL | 2017| 12 | digital file
Black Water Midnight looks into personal experiences that Black people have had with water and swimming. It delves into personal interviews and the Lead Contamination Act of 1988.
Miami, FL | 2017 | 1 | digital file
A train of thought while bobbing for apples.
Fucked Like a Star
USA/Haiti | 2018 | 8 | digital file
An experimental documentary short based on a paragraph in Toni Morrison’s novel Tar Baby.
London, UK | 2018 | 4 | digital file
What does the immigrant fantasy feel like? Filmmaker Adeyemi Michael reimagines his
mother’s idea of what it meant to be leaving her country of origin, Nigeria, as an immigrant 30 years ago for Peckham, South London.