Massimadi: Iconic Black Canadian 90s Films by Virgo + Inkster
MediaQueer @ Massimadi: Iconic Black Canadian 90s Films by Virgo + Inkster
Saturday, March 4, 2017, 2PM - FREE!
Visual Arts Building – Concordia University
1395 René Lévesque Ouest
MediaQueer.ca is proud to collaborate with the Massimadi Festival of LGBTQ Afro-Caribbean Film with a selection of radical 1990s films rarely shown in Montréal. From the razing of Atlantic Canada’s oldest Black neighbourhood to the struggles of Black queer people inside and outside their own communities, Dana Inkster and Clement Virgo used their lenses to show critically and sexily a deeper side of queer Blackness (and Black queerness) than what was known in the mainstream of their era. Before Moonlight, before Empire, we had Rude. Enduring in its hybrid metafictional account of a Black queer underground in Halifax, Inkster’s Welcome to Africvilleis as relevant and poetic in the current political climate – where racial injustice and gentrification continue to affect people of colour – as it was 20 years ago. Presented in partnership with the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema and the Program in Interdisciplinary Studies in Sexuality with the support of the Vice President of Research, Fine Arts, at Concordia University, and CKUT 90.3 FM. Curated by Thomas Waugh & Jordan Arseneault, the screening will be followed by a Q&A with Dawson College student and LEGACY member, Vincent Mousseau, and a live video conference with D. Inkster.
dir. Clement Virgo
1995, Canada, 89 minutes, English, CFC
Rude (1995, 89), the first African-Canadian-directed feature film, was a critical triumph but ran into the usual Canadian “first feature” box office sluggishness. Its four interwoven narratives present characters struggling to prevail against social, economic and cultural constrictions, including Jordan, a gay boxer enacting a stunning coming out process, which infallibly made every audience “lose it,” according to the director. The decidedly non-victim bashee’s defiance of his “muscle-bound steroid-taking pussy-eating freak” assailants, based on a real life character recollected from Clement’s adolescence, has already ensured the story’s status as one of the most resilient queer film fictions of the decade.
Presented with the short film:
Welcome to Africville
dir. Dana Inkster
1999, Canada, 14 minutes, English, Groupe Intervention Vidéo
Dana Inkster’s Welcome to Africville is a “docufiction” that the African-Canadian community in Halifax that was razed for “urban renewal” in the late sixties. Against a backdrop of black and white archival footage of this neighbourhood under demolition unfolds a slice-in-time narrative set on the eve of destruction. Highlighted are three generations of women in an Africville family, including a proud and lustful, thirty-something dyke, plus the friendly and queer local bartender (Alexander Chapman, known for his starring role in J. Greyson’s Lilies). Lushly photographed against brightly coloured settings, the film raises the question, not only of a lost community history, but also of lost sexual histories and identities.