‘Bushman’ 4K Restoration Trailer

Samantha Bergeson 01/10/2024

Meta documentary “Bushman” is receiving a 4K restoration and, for the first time, a multi-city theatrical release.

Director David Schickele‘s 1971 film began as a fictional comedy starring his friend Paul Eyam Nzie Okpokam, following the “adventures of a well-educated Nigerian immigrant in San Francisco,” per the official synopsis. However, after Okpokam was wrongfully accused of a real-life crime, “Bushman” shifts to being a documentary about how Okpokam was imprisoned before being deported.

Filmmaker Schickele shot “Bushman” in 1968 after returning from the Peace Corps. Schickele’s is billed as being in the docu-fictional style vein of John Cassavetes’ “Shadows.” Kino Lorber and Milestone Film & Video supported the 4K restoration, which will screen January 15 at MoMA’s To Save and Project festival.

The 75-minute black-and-white film was shelved for decades after its initial release but is regarded by film scholars as a milestone of Black representation in American cinema, especially in capturing the emergence of the West Coast counterculture of the era.

“Bushman” was restored by the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and The Film Foundation, with funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation. Additional support was provided by Peter Conheim of the Cinema Preservation Alliance.

Kino Lorber has recently unveiled the streaming platform Kino Film Collection, available on Prime Video. The Collection features new Kino releases fresh from theaters, along with hundreds of films from its expansive library of more than 4,000 titles, with many now streaming for the first time.

“We have this fantastic library and it would be very difficult to access everything,” Lisa Schwartz, Chief Revenue Officer for Kino Lorber, told IndieWire. “It’s really just the next evolution of how people can access our films. We wanted to make sure they went into a destination where people could go and enjoy it and get the benefit of the awareness that was created in the theatrical window, in addition to physical media.”

“Bushman” will screen January 15 at MoMA as part of the To Save and Project festival. The new 4K restoration will open in New York City theaters February 2 starting at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, with more cities to follow. Check out the trailer below.



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