Written by Nelson George, and directed by him and his partner Diane Paragas, this indie documentary covers the artistic growth and legacy of Brooklyn, specifically the Fort Greene area. Brooklyn Boheme will take you on a visual journey beginning in the mid-80s, when the hip hop/spoken word/visual art/film communities as we know them were beginning to bubble.
Imagine growing up and calling Rosie Perez, Chris Rock, Saul Williams, the Marsalis brothers, Spike Lee, Guru, and Lorna Simpson your neighbours...Brooklyn Boheme covers what Spike Lee calls "Brooklyn's equivalent of the Harlem Renaissance", and already gives me tingles of inspiration just from the 5-minute trailer:
One of my favourite quotes in the trailer is when Branford Marsalis says, "When I went to Brooklyn, one of the things I liked about it was that it wasn't just a Black neighbourhood. But it had people who were upwardly mobile in their thinking, not necessarily in their wallet." I found myself nodding, because I could just imagine how much creativity was swirling around Fort Green in those days...I would have loved to be there!
The next best thing to being there? Being here in Toronto this Friday! Nelson George will be live for a Q&A session after the screening. See the flyer below for more details! If you're looking for another historical documentary, check out Bob Marley: The Making of a Legend, showing at the Toronto Underground Cinema next Wednesday!
Will you be checking for Brooklyn Boheme? Do you think Toronto has the same type of strong artistic community? Why or why not?