Bronx Gothic

Invited

For the first half hour of Okwui Okpokwasili’s powerful one-woman stage show Bronx Gothic, she stands with her back to the audience, trembling and jittering in a feverish, ballistic trance. Dripping with sweat, she finally turns to face a room pulsing with her unsettled energy and unspools a tale of cruelty and violence drawn from the childhoods of others as well as her own in New York’s most troubled borough. Her immigrant Nigerian parents were pathbreaking settlers in a middle-class white neighborhood, but that didn’t spare her the brutal milieu of the local schools. She describes a coming of age stained by trauma, complementing her narrative with visceral choreography that conveys the pain of growing up brown in a country that habitually abuses black bodies. This film blends performance footage with intimate scenes of Okpokwasili’s personal life and her interactions with student audience members, and her penetrating discussion of her purpose and process.  MM

Filmmaker Q&A following screening

Director

Andrew Rossi

Producers

Andrew Rossi, Okwui Okpokwasili

Editors

Andrew Coffman, Thomas Rivera Montes, Andrew Rossi

Cinematographers

Bryan Sarkinen, Andrew Rossi

Release Year

2017

Festival Year

2017

Country

United States

Run Time

91 minutes

Subtitled

No

Premiere

World Premiere