Seven Songs for
Malcolm X

Director: John Akomfrah
UK / 1993 / 52 min

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Directed by John Akomfrah, produced the Black Audio Film Collective (1982-1998), of which Akomfrah was a founding member, and photographed by Arthur Jafa, Seven Songs for Malcolm X is a stunning work of archival filmmaking, with visionary reenactments and revealing interviews with dozens of family members, contemporaries, admirers, and intellectuals speaking in moving tribute to the life and legacy of Malcolm X.  The astounding assemblage of interviewees include John Henrik Clarke, Spike Lee, Greg Tate, Thulani Davis, William Kuntsler, as well as some of those who knew him best, such as his widow Betty Shabazz, brother Wilfred Little, and closest aide, Imam Benjamin Karim. The film also features historical footage of Malcolm X’s speeches and a contemporary sequence following Hassan El-Sayeed on a guided tour of Malcolm X’s Harlem, focusing on the landmark meeting point of African Square, on the corner of 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. Akomfrah, also a cultural historian and conceptual artist, creates a compact yet sweeping portrait worthy of the deserved honor of Malcolm X.

An Icarus Films release. Special thanks to Jonathan Miller and Livia Bloom.