The Nine Muses Review

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A mix stunning of images of wintery Alaskan landscapes describes the immigrant journey into the UK from 1960 onwards.


Guided by Homer's the Odyssey, John Akomfrah juxtaposes a wealth of archival and newly photographed footage to reassess the immigrant impact on Britain and capture the “ghostly traces of lived moments” that occupy the space between history and myth. A stylish exercise in structuralism that succeeds in being cerebral, cinematic and accessible, this is an immersive experience that proclaims its literacy and technical mastery with laudable modesty. The mix of spoken word and music (selected from a daunting range of sources) is as rich as editor Miikka Leskinen’s visual blend, which often dazzles with its audacity. Poetic, provocative and demanding in equal measure, this is apparently the first part of a trilogy, and while it may baffle some, it will enthrall many more.

Spoken word, music and imagery come together to create moments of transcendent beauty. Wise and rather wonderful.