Menu

THE AFRICAN DESPERATE

THE AFRICAN DESPERATE

Featured as part of:

THE AFRICAN DESPERATE

  • Directed by Martine Syms
  • Starring Diamond Stingily, Cammisa Buerhaus, Brent David Freaney
  • BFI London Film Festival
  • 2022 | 99mins | USA | (15)

Tickets Are Only Available via BFI London Film Festival Website.

BOOK HERE: https://whatson.bfi.org.uk/lff/Online/article/AfricanDesperate


Martine Syms’ highly personal yet humorously insightful debut feature shares the reality of being a Black woman in the predominantly white contemporary art world.


The film opens with MFA student Palace being interviewed by three archetypal white faculty members, who unashamedly discuss the merit of her graduation work in relation to her ethnic origin whilst pretending to be mindful of radical Black thought. Clearly this is not the first time Palace is experiencing this kind of excruciatingly patronising conversation. Her degree complete, Palace somewhat reluctantly proceeds to the graduation party where she and her fellow students can be together one last time. Multimedia artist Syms, in collaboration with fellow artist Diamond Stingily as Palace, has created a remarkably candid and imaginative drama. Unfolding over a 24-hour period, this artsy, hyperactive marathon traces Palace’s mental journey, casting a satirical eye over the art world, with all its microaggressions, absurdity and hypocrisy. - Hyun Jin Cho