Dir. John Coney
1974, USA, 85 min
Avant-jazz mystic Sun Ra brought his pioneering Afrofuturist vision to the screen with this film version of his concept album. It’s a wild, kaleidoscopic whirl of science fiction, sharp social commentary, goofy pseudo-blaxploitation stylistics, and thrilling concert performance, in which the pharaonic Ra and his Arkestra lead an intergalactic movement to resettle the Black race on their utopian space colony.
Presented in collaboration with TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival.
Space Is the Place has more than a few hokey moments, but it also illuminates Ra’s work. For him, outer space wasn’t just a gimmick or a convenient source of song titles. It was a zone where racism was inoperative.
– Jon Pareles, New York Times