Close Up

2 April 2020: Essay Film Festival: Drylongso


Cauleen Smith, 1998, 87 min, 16mm

Seeing Cauleen Smith's debut feature (and only full length fiction film to date) today offers audiences a snapshot into both a community and a specific moment in time. Set in Oakland, California, the film centres around a young African American woman navigating her responsibilities as a breadwinner, daughter and student whilst coming to terms with the threat of violence befalling young men in her community. The film captures real social issues being faced by the working class African American community and the vibrant Afrocentric art scene whilst, through the central character Pica, Drylongso can be seen as a nuanced coming of age tale. The recent restoration has allowed the film to find a new audience and in doing so can now be seen to connect to both the celebrated 90's independent cinema boom alongside the iconic works of African American cinema made in this period.

The Essay Film Festival, now in its sixth edition, presents a global range of contemporary and restored essayistic works, each exploring the critical and creative zone of possibilities that lies between experimental and documentary modes of filmmaking.

More info:

BOX OFFICE (12:00 - 23.30): 02037847970 - All films are ad-free and 18+ unless otherwise stated.