13-24 nov 2024
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Bushman

Bushman

David Schickele
United States
1971
73 min
n.a.
Focus: Fabrications
Synopsis

In 1968, the civil war in Nigeria is entering its second year. Paul Eyam Nzie Okpokam, a young Nigerian drama student, flees to San Francisco. David Schickele wants to make a feature film about Okpokam’s experiences in his new home and casts him in the role of Gabriel. During his adventures, Gabriel encounters racism at every turn. The motorcyclist who gives him a lift is a harbinger of the racist America that is later to be the actor’s undoing. Liberal America, represented by progressive intellectuals quoting Marshall McLuhan, also comes in for criticism.

What starts as a fictional docudrama rich in subtle irony unexpectedly turns into a documentary when Okpokam is wrongly arrested during production after a strike at San Francisco State College. “Truth was not stranger than fiction, just a little faster,” Schickele says to the camera.

Schickele, originally a composer and violinist, taught English at the University of Nigeria. On his return to the US, he made Bushman, which won the Best First Feature Award at the 1971 Chicago International Film Festival. His rediscovered film has recently been restored.

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Credits
73 min
black and white
DCP
Spoken languages: English
Director
    David Schickele
    David Schickele
Production
    The Bushman Company,
    American Film Institute,
    Dennis Doros
    The Bushman Company,
    American Film Institute,
    Dennis Doros
Cinematography
    David Myers
    David Myers
Editing
    Jennifer Chinlund,
    David Schickele
    Jennifer Chinlund,
    David Schickele
Sound
    Peter More,
    Paul Oppenheim
    Peter More,
    Paul Oppenheim
Music
    David Ames
    David Ames
Screenplay
    David Schickele
    David Schickele
World Sales
    Dennis Doros
    Dennis Doros
Screening copy
    Kino Lorber, Inc.
    Kino Lorber, Inc.

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More from the program section Focus: Fabrications
Fabrications investigates the image of truth often associated with documentaries. With a selection of films, we probe the difference between reality and realism and look at how films attempt to address this through a deliberate mix of fiction and documentary technique.Focus: Fabrications is supported by Vfonds.
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