29 October • 18:00 • Cube Microplex
Joe Bullet + Shaft
part of Africa’s Lost Classics
in partnership with Come the Revolution
Afrika Eye and Come the Revolution present an evening of cinema in the genre of ‘blaxploitation’ films.
Curated by Dr Jacqueline Maingard, Reader in Film, University of Bristol
This event pairs a South African-produced film, Joe Bullet (1973), with the first ‘blaxploitation’ film made in the USA, Shaft (1971), which in part provided inspiration for the character, Joe Bullet. Joe Bullet was produced for specifically black audiences in South Africa under apartheid, when there was no opportunity for black filmmakers to produce films. The film was banned by the apartheid government shortly after its release but the film’s producer, Tonie van der Merwe, and director, Louis de Witt, went on to make many more films under the government’s so-called ‘B-scheme’, which provided subsidies to predominantly white film producers and directors for the popular consumption of films made for black film audiences. Joe Bullet is part of the Gravel Road digital restoration project that has revived some of these films after forty years.
Director: Louis De Witt
South Africa, 1973, 89 mins, English
The film tells the story of a mysterious gangster who starts sabotaging soccer team The Eagles’ chance at winning the upcoming championship final. In the criminal underworld of soccer, only our eponymous hero Joe Bullet, a part-James Bond, part-John Shaft character, played by well-known South African actor Ken Gampu, can save the championship.
Director: Gordon Parks
USA, 1971, 100 mins, English, R
John Shaft is part-James Bond part-Black Panther … He wears his Afro with pride as he hunts for a Harlem ganglord’s kidnapped daughter. In this, first of the so-called ‘blaxploitation’ movies, Roundtree shines as the violent yet supercool black detective hero taken from Ernest Tidyman’s novels. With an Oscar-winning score from Isaac Hayes.
This is a rare chance to see Shaft screened from 35mm print, provided by the British Film Institute.