KHALIK ALLAH MASTERCLASS @ DOKUFEST
New York based photographer and filmmaker Khalik Allah, on August 10, will lead a masterclass on how photography influenced and informed his filmmaking process and will also focus on a unique style in documentary through the importance of creating sound and voices.
As reviewed by Richard Brody on the New Yorker, Khalik Allah in his documentary Field Niggas, revitalizes the genre of the observational documentary and transforms several simple technical tricks into a vision of the world.
Filmed in the summer of 2014, Field Niggas is assemblage of impoverished Harlem faces, videotaping and interviewing the people who hang out there – most of them black, many drug addicted, some homeless, some discussing their prison time – Allah presented his subjects in a dreamlike slow motion that turns video into a fluid transfiguration of painted portraiture.
He also desynchronizes the soundtrack, matching interviews and discussions only approximately to the images.
His follow-up Black Mother, screening at the Festival as part of International Documentary Competition, takes Allah from his home in NYC to his motherland, Jamaica, and though it and Field Niggas share a style, there are many differences.
Black Mother is described to have a strong relation to sound or music–free-flowing jazz, fluidly connecting otherwise inconceivable strands of culture, politics, and history in Jamaica. The faces shown, rarely match the soundscape and the audio and visual components of the film seem to operate parallel to each other.
Khalik Allah was one of the cinematographers and second unit director for Lemonade – Beyonce’s visual album.
The 32 year-old artist began his career snapping photos of Wu-Tang Clan.
He is inspired by hip-hop as well as photographers like Nobuyoshi Araki, Daido Moriyama, and Gordon Parks. Allah sees his work as a means to many ends, helping his subjects to share their experiences, providing light for both subjects and viewers and finding a range of self-expressions.