Jump Up The En Mas’ Film Series

In conjunction with the current exhibition En Mas’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean, Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) and the SF Latino Film Festival present Jump Up: The En Mas’ Film Seriessix weeks of documentaries and features portraying the magical impact of Carnival in various places in the African Diaspora (Trinidad,  Brazil, Guadeloupe, New Orleans, Cape Verde and New York). Each program has a strong focus on the music, performers and the flamboyant attire so central to the celebrations including calypso and soca of TrinidadSalvador’s blocos afros, Guadeloupe’s zouk, Mardi Gras’ Black Indian clubs, the transgender paraders on São Vicente island and Brooklyn’s Caribbean saturated Labor Day festivities.  

September 28, 6:30-9pm

EbonyGoddess_Still2_TA300Ebony Goddess: Queen of Ilê Aiyê (Carolina Moraes-Liu and Chung Liu, 20 minutes, in Portuguese with English subtitles, 2010)

This documentary short follows three women competing to be the carnival queen of Ilê Aiyê, a prominent Afro-Brazilian group in Salvador, Bahia with an all-Black membership. The selection is based on Afro-centric notions of beauty.


O-PAI-O02Ó Pai,  Ó! (Monique Gardenberg, 96 minutes, in Portuguese with English subtitles, 2007)

On the first day of the extraordinary Carnival in Salvador, Bahia, a variety of characters interact.  Among the personalities are a stingy evangelical landlord, an auto mechanic, a philandering husband,  a transgender neighborhood fixture,  a Baiana selling acarajé and an expatriate returning for Carnival.  Ó pai, ó – slang for “dig that” – is alternatively a bawdy comedy and a social drama with music and dance numbers set in the lively colonial district of Pelourinho starring Lazaro Ramos with a guest appearance by singer Virginia Rodrigues.

October 5, 6:30-9pm

J’ouvJouvert_PhilipJBell_Still_3ert (Philip J. Bell, 15 minutes 2015)

In the pre-sunrise hours, J’ouvert ushers in  Brooklyn’s Labor Day Carnival, in a brilliant explosion of sound, color and e
xcitement. Rooted in the celebration of freedom from slavery, J’ouvert has become an expression of rebirth and joy throughout the Caribbean and abroad.

gWFU86tfdjdq1VA711G3jLYMZ7bpEJ_AGqthOtNwebgAfter Mas (Karen Martinez, 20 minutes, 2013)

This short, richly textured drama is about desire, identity and conformity and tells the story of a romantic encounter that begins during the festival of J’ouvert on the streets of Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. In the cold light of day – when they are unmasked – can these young lovers from very different backgrounds stay true to their desires?

037_riddem130Calypso Dreams (Geoffrey Dunn and Michael Horne, 60 minutes, 2004)

This documentary presents dynamic performances by and conversations with calypso stars such as the Mighty Sparrow, Calypso Rose, Lord Kitchener and many others while simultaneously examining the music’s connection to Trinidad’s Carnival.  Often known for its hilarious rhymes, the film also recognizes the music’s dynamic social and political roots which sustain it. It also includes an interview with Harry Belafonte on his complex relationship to calypso.

October 19, 6:30-9pm

Screen Shot 2017-09-06 at 3.54.01 PMSiméon (Euzhan Palcy, 115 minutes, in French with English subtitles, 1992)

Siméon is the third feature film by legendary director Euzhan Palcy (Sugar Cane Alley and A Dry White Season) .  Set in a small village in Guadeloupe a little girl and a musician join forces to accomplish their dream — putting their island’s music on the world stage. It is a spirited, joyful , mystical and highly danceable extravaganza of color featuring the music and performances of Kassav’,  the leading stars of zouk music.

October 26, 6:30-9pm

1200px-Calypso_roseCalypso Rose: Lioness of the Jungle (Pasquale Obolo, 85 minutes, 2011)

An exuberant and inspiring ambassador for the Caribbean, Calypso Rose is the uncontested and much decorated diva of Calypso music. With more than 800 recorded songs, she continues to be a pioneer and champion of women’s rights, as she travels the world making music.  Traveling to Paris, New York, Trinidad and Tobago and to her ancestral home in Africa, we learn more about Calypso Rose in each place, and the many faces and facets of her life.

November 2, 6:30-9pm

04-Elvis_carnavalTchindas (Pablo García Pérez de Lara and Marc Serena, 95 minutes, in Cape Verdean Creole with English subtitles, 2015)

When interviewed by the filmmakers, the acclaimed singer Cesária Evora (whose music plays throughout this documentary) proclaimed that Cape Verde had the best Carnival in Africa.  LGBT people often play an important role in Carnivals and on the island of São Vicente the country’s cultural capitol,  Tchinda is one of most beloved women in Cape Verde, especially after she came out as a transgender person in the local newspaper in 1998. Tchinda and her colleagues prepare for and join the festivities that are particularly geared towards the participation of children.

November 9, 6:30-9pm

7c57d0_4ec8775b288547d491d77f9d022ce098The Black Indians of New Orleans (Maurice Martinez, 35 minutes, 1976)

Considered a classic and the first in-depth film on the subject, the documentary reveals the sociocultural history of the Mardi Gras Indians, their costume preparation, music, songs, dance, and gatherings for a ritual practice.


tooties-last-suit-44a0cd025a8a8c5dTooties Last Suit (Lisa Katzman, 97 minutes, 2009)

The feature-length documentary, explores the complex relationships, rituals, history, and music of New Orleans’ vibrant Mardi Gras Indian culture while telling the story of Allison “Tootie” Montana, former Chief of Yellow Pocahontas Hunters. Celebrated throughout the New Orleans as “the prettiest,” for the beauty and inventiveness of his elaborately beaded Mardi Gras costumes, Tootie Montana masked for 52 years, longer than any other Mardi Gras Indian.

Please note there will be no screening on Thursday, October 12

$10 General Admission | $5 Student/Senior | Free for MoAD Members and SFLAFF pass holders


Categories:  Public Programs