Director Jamila Wignot layers images, video, and important voice-overs from Alvin Ailey to create a portrait of the man that is as poetic, powerful, and nuanced as his choreography. Black-and-white footage of crowds filing into church, children playing, dance parties, and the dusty landscape of his birthplace, Texas, build an atmosphere. Ailey’s 1960 exploration of the Black experience, “Revelations”, remains a masterpiece. He spoke of how his dances were full of “dark deep things, beautiful things inside me that I’d always been trying to get out.” Like Ailey’s dances, this documentary leaves one swimming in sensation as it searches to reveal the man behind the legacy whose spirit lives on in his dancers, often bringing one to tears.
Directed by Jamila Wignot, 2021, USA, 82 Minutes
Learn more about The Architecture + Design Film Series and virtual viewings.