Film: The Foreigner’s Home
Dir. Geoff Pingree & Rian Brown | 57 min | 2018
In The Foreigner’s Home, her 2006 exhibition, Toni Morrison drew connections among diverse figures, works, and events—from painter Theodore Gericault’s The Raft of the Medusa to filmmaker Charles Burnett’s Killer of Sheep, from jazz to hip-hop, from the U.S. Civil Rights movement to Hurricane Katrina—to conjure a shareable world whose well-being depends on the never-ending public conversation that is art.
Further exploring the ideas present in the exhibition, the documentary The Foreigner’s Home features on-camera conversations between Toni Morrison and Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat; footage at the Louvre of William Forsythe, Charles Burnett, and French Slam poets, among others, responding to the exhibition’s theme; original, hand-drawn, animation footage; archival still and motion pictures of critical topics and events in the American—and especially African-American—experience (from the blues to recent episodes of racial violence); and original musical and sound scores by Oberlin Conservatory of Music composers.
Neither biography nor traditional documentary film, The Foreigner’s Home is instead a provocative and timely meditation on one of humanity’s oldest and most deeply rooted schism and Morrison’s belief in the art’s crucial role in both understanding and addressing the increasingly urgent problems that surround it.
Local poet LaLa Drew will open Sunday’s program with a reading of several works on the theme of foreignness/the foreigner.
LaLa Drew (they/them) is a black, queer, non-binary, adoptee poet, writer, and activist raised and still living Maine. Organizer and Creator of Bloodletting, a reoccurring poetry event dedicated to uplifting and amplifying Queer, trans*, and femme PoC; Co-leader of weekly PoC Meditation: Feeling the Body, Healing the Heart; Organizer and Collaborator of the For Us, By Us Fund which builds capacity and community for POC in Maine. LaLa writes a monthly column for the Portland Phoenix, Unpacking the New Normal, in which they explore the many anxiety-inducing issues of today. At the base of each of LaLa’s endeavors is the spirit of community and creativity.
@talesofblackwingednight | talesofblackwingednight.com