Director Andrew Rossi’s “Bronx Gothic” is based on Okwui Okpokwasili’s lauded performance piece of the same name, which follows the Bessie Award–winning actor, dancer, writer, performance artist and singer as she stages a final tour for her one-woman show, “Bronx Gothic.”
Inspired by Okpokwasili’s early 1980s Bronx childhood, Rossi’s film asks the audience: “Can I make all of you be born again as a black girl?”
Through her work, Okpokwasili investigates issues of gender, culture, and identity as they are expressed in American and global contexts. In addition to “Bronx Gothic,” she has written, performed, and choreographed several other pieces, including most recently “Poor People’s TV Room” (a history of collective action in Nigeria and the culmination of her two-year residency as Stryker/Randjelovic Resident Commissioned Artist) and “Pent-Up: A Revenge Dance” (an exploration of cross-cultural collisions between a mother and daughter). Her ongoing artistic collaboration with National Medal of Arts winner Ralph Lemon includes a tour of his work “How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere?,” and a duet at MOMA as part of the exhibit, “On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century.”
“Bronx Gothic” – Rossi’s sixth documentary feature – will have its World Premiere in New York on Wednesday, July 12, at Film Forum, followed by a national theatrical roll out through Grasshopper Film.