Previously at the ICA - Films

The Nine Muses

19 Jan 20122 Feb 2012

Director John Akomfrah, perhaps best known for his work with the Black Audio Film Collective and groundbreaking Handsworth Songs, delivers a beguiling personal exploration of the UK's immigrant experience from 1949 - 1970. Part documentary, part existential sci-fi film, Akomfrah combines archive footage and striking arctic landscapes to unusual and genre-defying effect. Divided into nine overlapping musical chapters mixing a vast array of material from both the UK and USA, this modern recasting of Homer's The Odyssey presents a beautiful song cycle, with musical performances from Paul Robeson, Leontyne Price and the Gundecha Brothers and underscored by Arvo Pärt and Schubert's stunning Winterreise.

The Nine Muses offers an intricate meditation on journeys, migration, memory and the power of elegy. Drawing on, and adapting writings from, among others, Samuel Beckett, Dante Alighieri, Emily Dickinson, Rabindranath Tagore and James Joyce, the film muses on chance, fate and redemption, eventually unfolding into an evocative absorbing work of great beauty as it takes us on a multi-layered quest for knowledge and identity.

Special Event - Thursday 26th January
There will be a special poetry/spoken word introduction to The Nine Muses screening at 8pm on Thursday 26th January on the theme of migration, featuring guest spoken word artistes Tuggstar (representing the UK via Ghana) and Musalman (representing the UK via Bangladesh).

Dir: John Akomfrah, Ghana/UK, 2010, 90mins

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