Director: David Schickele Run Time: 73 min. Format: DCP Release Year: 1971
Starring: Elaine Featherstone, Jack Nance, Lothario Lotho, Patrick Gleeson, Paul Eyam Nzie Opokam
In this unique film from the twilight of the 1960s, Paul Eyam Nzie Okpokam, a Nigerian intellectual in the United States, plays Gabriel… a Nigerian intellectual in the United States. Originally conceived as a light-hearted comedy, BUSHMAN begins as a sort of hangout movie with Gabriel bumming around the Bay Area picking up women and commenting on the current culture with an outsider’s incisive eye. This section is filled with wonderful scenes—like a beautiful Black radical dancing to Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” in an empty bar—and provides a vibrant snapshot of the U.S. circa 1968 with racial politics, interracial romance, cross-cultural misunderstandings, and countercultural joy at the forefront. And then the whole thing morphs into pure documentary as the director and friends of the star interrupt the action to explain how life has imitated art in the most enraging way. Okpokam has been accused of a crime he did not commit and is in prison waiting to be deported from the country.
“Both a remarkably sensitive study of a man caught between cultures and a tough examination of the subculture in which he lived.” – Charles Champlin, Los Angeles Times
“Excited to check this out!” – Brandon