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Ailey (12A) + Extended Introduction

Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest 2021

A portrait in b&w of Alvin Ailey, with three dancers in the background

Filmmaker Jamila Wignot employs beautiful archive footage that not only captures the unique impact and imagination of Alvin Ailey’s work, but the social context that inspired his thinking and growth. 

This feature documentary explores the life, career, successes, struggles and ultimately death of world renowned choreographer Alvin Ailey.

The film is rich with images and stories from his world and how they influenced his unique point of view, from the Black house parties he grew up with, to the Murder of Fred Hampton. It is awe inspiring to be taken on a journey of just how successful he was, touring sold out shows around the world from Australia to Korea, and all around Asia and Europe.

All told through interviews surviving dance company members and footage of interviews of Ailey himself, culminating with a powerful reckoning with AIDS. Ailey is a testament to Black queer creative excellence being complex and thriving. The film reminds us of the importance of recognising our elders and knowing our history.

US 2021 Dir Jamila Wignot 90 min

Presented in partnership with The Batty Mama and is supported by Film Hub London, managed by Film London. Proud to be a partner of the BFI Film Audience Network, funded by the National Lottery. 

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Barbican Cinema 2