Due to unforeseen circumstances, this screening has been cancelled. Those who have already purchased tickets will be contacted by the Alamo Drafthouse for a refund. Our sincerest apologies!
The junction of 125th Street and Lexington has long been known as one of the most dangerous corners of New York, and is the spot where heroin is scored in The Velvet Underground’s 1966 classic “I’m Waiting For the Man.” These days its most hazardous aspects relate to traffic and congestion, with dozens of pedestrian, vehicle and bicycle collisions each year. There are also eight methadone clinics within a five-block radius, and the spot is known as a homeless hangout — residents of the Wards Island shelter are bused here in the morning and picked up here at night, as it’s such a handy intersection of public-transport options.
Khalik Allah’s FIELD NIGGAS is a stark portrayal of the inner city struggle, shot entirely at nighttime at this corner of 125th and Lexington. Allah’s camera tenderly captures the mental, physical and spiritual struggle of the corner’s most exhausted and depressed inhabitants as they ruminate on race, societal inequalities, family, drugs, homelessness, romance, police brutality, and, ultimately, their histories, in a collective chorus. An hour-long Harlem nocturne of near-hallucinatory intensity, FIELD NIGGAS’ un-synced visuals and narration perfectly complement each other, forging a viewing experience that functions as a near interactive tapestry as the stories’ strands envelope your conscience. Animated street photography at its apotheosis, FIELD NIGGAS carries a heady, haunting undercurrent, with aesthetic panache to burn.