N/N: Who Needs a Heart
Director(s): John Akomfrah
Fest Year: 2018
In Person: Critic-in-residence Ashley Clark and Gaylene Gould
Perhaps the Black Audio Film Collective’s bleakest and most challenging effort, Who Needs a Heart is ostensibly based on the real-life figure of Michael X (aka Michael DeFreitas), the Trinidad and Tobago-born, London-based self-styled revolutionary and civil rights activist of the 1960s and ’70s who, in 1975, four years after fleeing back to Trinidad from London, was hanged after being found guilty in a murder trial. Yet this elusive and controversial character effectively functions as the film’s structuring absence, visible only in sparingly deployed archive footage and photography. Instead, the film offers a chronologically oblique fictional portrait of a multiracial London-based group of his acolytes, who serially fight, party and drink in lieu of expressing or acting on coherent political opinions. (AC)Screens for free as a part of the Neither/Nor Film Series. Neither/Nor is presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.