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Ailey (12A) (AD)

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.

Tagged with: Cinema New releases

US 2021 Dir Jamila Wignot 90 min

Please note: on Friday 7 Jan at 8.15pm, Saturday 8 Jan at 8.40pm and Sunday 9 Jan at 8.40pm include a recorded post-screening talk between director Jamila Wignot and host Bonnie Greer


There is audio description available for this title. We provide audio description using the Dolby Screentalk system. The film soundtrack comes through the speakers in the usual way and a recorded narrator explains what is happening on screen through personal headphones. Please ask a member of staff for a set of headphones.

Booking is essential, so please book your tickets before attending.

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Barbican Cinemas