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Films

Ganja & Hess

Director(s)
Bill Gun
Country
USA
Year
1973
Language
English
Duration
113 min

An afro-centric retelling of the vampire myth, Bill Gunn’s Ganja & Hess is one of the most singular films to emerge from the Black cinema boom of 1970s.

Shot in parallel to the Blaxploitation boom of the 1970s (exploitation cinema’s subgenre through which African-American filmmakers were able to reclaim their image, stories and stereotypes in front of a wide audience), Ganja & Hess, directed by Bill Gunn (Personal Problems), remains one of the most singular films of the era, unveiled in Cannes in 1973 and recently remade by Spike Lee as Da Sweet Blood of Jesus. An afro-centric retelling of the vampire myth, it sees the anthropologist Hess Green (Night of the Living Dead and Losing Ground’s Duane Jones) in the fangs of an ancestral curse…and tormented by an unquenchable thirst for Ganja (Marlene Clark). Carried by unsettling montage bordering on the experimental, and magical-realist lens-work, at once disconcerting, sensuous and granular – placing the emphasis on the carnal dimensions of vampirism, as well as the emancipation of black bodies on screen – Ganja & Hess screens here in its original cut, restored in 2018 by The Museum of Modern Art, in collaboration with The Film Foundation.

 

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Director(s)
Bill Gun
Country
USA
Year
1973
Language
English
Duration
113 min
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