This film is first and foremost a journey. From Brooklyn to Abidjan, via the Mississippi, Puerto Rico and Haiti. A journey through the search for his identity of the most famous black American contemporary artist, and one of the 20th century's major painters. But it's a paradoxical journey because, despite his Haitian and Puerto Rican roots, Basquiat had practically never explored Africa. Yet, he never stopped dreaming about it, transcending his "cultural memory" to produce iconic works. It isn't said often enough: although Basquiat, like no other painter before him, anticipated the globalisation of art, above all, he stood up to an America riddled with racism. Using his origins and his convictions like the colours on his palette, the young black man decided to obtain international artistic recognition. But what relationship did this child prodigy have with his African heritage?

Beyond the simple legend, this film-journey will take a refreshing look at Jean-Michel Basquiat's life, stripped of the clichés that get in the way of the political significance of his work.

A film by Pierre-Paul Puljiz

Produced by Tamara films
French broadcaster: France 5
International sales: CLPB Rights


FIFA - International Festival of Films on Art (2022) - Official selection