1971 Film Based on Nigerian Immigrant in the US, “Bushman”, Makes Historic Comeback In Theatres 

 US-based film distribution companies, Kino Lorber and Milestone Film, have brought back 1971 docu-fictional comedy Bushman to the cinemas in 4K resolution.  The film follows the story of a Nigerian immigrant and Peace Corps veteran, Paul Eyam Nzie Okpokam, in 1960s San Francisco in the US.

Bushman offers a refreshing perspective on America’s racial politics, including cultural clashes and interracial relations through the adventure of Okpokam. Okpokam finds himslef in dilemma resulting from the  unrest in the US caused by the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, and then the Nigerian Civil War in his homeland. The film is partly documentary as it reveals Okpokam’s false accusation and deportation, which contributes to the wider discourse of representation of Blacks in American cinema

The return of Bushman follows its disappearance from the cinemas for decades, with the new one slated for premiere on February 2, 2024 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Ahead of its premiere, it screened at The Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) film preservation festival on January 15, 2024.

The University of California Berkeley Art Museum, Pacific Film Archive, and The Film Foundation in collaboration with Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation and Cinema Preservation Alliance are responsible for the restoration of David Schickele’s 1971 work. The African premiere of the restoration was at the 2023 Bayelsa International Film Festival in Nigeria.

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