The African Desperate

Scene from the film The African Desperate
image from the film THE AFRICAN DESPERATE
image from the film THE AFRICAN DESPERATE

“This frantic, wildly engaging debut feature from Martine Syms lunges through 24 crucial yet wayward hours in the life of Palace (Syms’s fellow visual artist Diamond Stingily). Following a bizarre and blithely passive-aggressive final interview with her all-white faculty, Palace receives her MFA from an upstate New York art school. Rather than attend that night’s graduation party with friends, she vows to relax and get out of Dodge, back to her hometown of Chicago. However, the night doesn’t go as planned, and Syms takes Palace on a hazy, often hilarious, occasionally surreal trip through those moments where one’s life feels balanced on a precipice. The African Desperate has its own singular momentum, fueled by Syms’s cutting satire and aesthetic invention, and coasting on the rhythms of Stingily’s sly, expertly deadpan comic performance.” (MoMA)

“An electrifying, riveting odyssey… rollicking, piercing, and wildly entertaining” (The Film Stage)

“A hilarious, candy-colored, coming-of-age comedy” (Filmmaker Magazine)

“Witty, sharp, and right on the mark… social commentary for the art world like we’ve never seen it before” (Vogue)

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Ithaca Premiere