A Black man wearing a tan jacket and rolled black beanie writes on a blackboard "long live john africa!" in a red room.

Ephraim Asili's EMPAC-Commissioned film ‘The Inheritance’ Named in Best 50 of 2020

The Film is listed as #23 in the British Film Institute's publication Sight & Sound
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Asili’s debut weaves together the histories of the MOVE Organization, the Black Arts Movement and his time in a Black Marxist collective. It centers on a man who inherits his grandmother’s house and turns it into a Black socialist collective.

We say: Asili’s excellent debut feature is a ‘speculative re-enactment’ of his time in a West Philadelphia Black socialist experiment in collective living. The actual space is rendered in vibrant 16mm hues and the human interactions observed with warmth and playful humor, without ever losing sight of serious political purposes and the potential for poetry therein, nor of the bigger historical picture. This last aspect is beautifully and heartbreakingly articulated through archive and informal talks by former associates of MOVE, several of whose members were butchered by the police in 1985. (Kieron Corless)

BFI #23


Main Image: Production still from The Inheritance in Studio 1, June 2019. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Mick Bello/EMPAC.

January 12, 2021
Publication Title
Sight & Sound