Neptune Frost + Performance 2021
Saul Williams, Anisia Uzeyman / 109 mins / Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Swahili, French, English / Rating 12A
Multidisciplinary artists Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman bring their unique dynamism to the Afrofuturist vision of Neptune Frost. It is a sci-fi-punk musical that is a visually wondrous amalgamation of themes, ideas, and songs that they have been exploring in their work, including in Williams’s 2016 album MartyrLoserKing.
Neptune Frost takes place in the hilltops of Burundi, where a group of escaped coltan miners form an anti-colonialist computer hacker collective. From their camp in an otherworldly e-waste dump, they attempt a takeover of the authoritarian regime exploiting the region’s natural resources – and its people. When an intersex runaway and an escaped miner find each other through cosmic forces, their connection sparks glitches within the greater divine circuitry.
Set between states of being – past and present, dream and waking life, colonised and free, male and female, memory and prescience – Neptune Frost is an invigorating and empowering direct download to the cerebral cortex and a call to reclaim technology for progressive political ends.
About the Directors
Saul Williams is an American poet, musician, and actor. He made his acting debut in Marc Levin’s Slam, which he co-wrote. The film won Sundance's Grand Jury Prize and the Cannes Camera d'Or in 1998. Saul was a series regular on Girlfriends and has appeared in films including: K-Pax, Lackawanna Blues, New York, I Love You, Akilla’s Escape (TIFF 2020), and Aujourd'hui- TEY (Alain Gomis), which won 2013's L'Etalon D'Or at FESPACO.
Saul was the first African-American to win Best Actor at the festival. TEY was also awarded The Prize of the City at Venice. In 2014 Saul made his Broadway debut as the lead in Holler If Ya Hear Me, based on the lyrics of Tupac Shakur. Saul has published five books of poetry which have been translated into several languages. As a musician, Saul has released six albums and toured and collaborated with artists including: Kanye West, Nas, Janelle Monae, Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against The Machine, The Roots, Mos Def, Allen Ginsburg, Amiri Baraka, Gil Scott-Heron, TV On The Radio, Blackalicious, and Erykah Badu.
Anisia Uzeyman is an actress, playwright, and director. Born in Rwanda, she studied drama at the Superior School of Theater in France. Her directorial debut, Dreamstates, was shot entirely on iPhones and starred Saul Williams, William Nadylam, and Beau Sia. The film premiered at the LAFF in 2016. She has also directed numerous music videos. As an actress, Anisia has starred in, among others, the award-winning film Aujourd'hui-TEY, where she met Saul Williams, and the feature film Ayiti Mon Amour by Guetty Felin, which premiered at TIFF 2017. Her first book, a poetic treatment of her original screenplay Saolomea, Saolomea, will be published by Not a Cult this fall.
You May Also Like
- 10th Anniversary: Death Metal Angola
- 20th Anniversary: Afro-Punk + Director Q&A
- Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché
About the performance
Nyami Nyami: a live performance by Drag King Tanaka. Tanaka is a Zimbabwean drag king who wants to share their story, struggles, joys and culture with the world. ‘Tanaka’ means ‘we’re good’ in Shona, one of the official languages of Zimbabwe.
Tanaka’s performance for this festival’s edition is inspired by the Zimbabwean folktale about the River God Nyami Nyami - a story of love and war whose survival and legacy are dependent on the art of storytelling. Using movement, music and spoken word, Tanaka muses on the opposing forces of destruction and protection, union and separation, prosperity and deprivation.
AiM x Decolonise Fest Punk Mixtape
We have partnered with Decolonise Fest to present a playlist of African and Black diaspora punk bands. The festival is an annual London-based, volunteer-run, non-profit DIY punk festival collectively organised by and for punx of colour. Their collective is made up of activists, militant community organisers, musicians, and artists that came together to hold their first festival in 2017.
Decolonise Fest centres the experiences of punx of colour, who we define this as people who are descended (through one or both parents) from the original inhabitants of Africa, Caribbean, Asia, Middle East, Latin America, Australasia, North America, and the islands of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean, and of Romany Gypsy or Traveller heritage.