Ganja & Hess

Directed by Bill Gunn

Release Year: 1973
Running Time: 113
Color Type: Color
Country: U.S.
Language: English
     

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Screening Info
Cast
Mabel King
Leonard Jackson
Sam Waymon
Duane Jones
Marlene Clark
Bill Gunn

Crew
Writer Bill Gunn
Produced by Chiz Schults
Directed by Bill Gunn

Flirting with the conventions of blaxploitation and horror, Bill Gunn’s revolutionary independent film Ganja & Hess is a highly stylized and utterly original treatise on sex, religion, and African American identity. Duane Jones (Night of the Living Dead) stars as anthropologist Hess Green, who is stabbed with an ancient ceremonial dagger by his unstable assistant (director Bill Gunn), bestowing upon him the blessing of immortality... and the curse of an unquenchable thirst for blood. When the assistant’s beautiful and outspoken wife Ganja (Marlene Clark) comes searching for her missing husband, she and Hess form an unexpected partnership. Together, they explore just how much power blood holds.

Later recut and released in an inferior version, this edition represents the original release, restored by The Museum of Modern Art with support from The Film Foundation, and mastered in HD from a 35mm negative.

Educational Reviews

"GANJA & HESS represents an avant-garde milestone worthy of the attention of any true cinephile." - Jeanne Bogino, Library Journal

Critical Acclaim

"A sensual, scholarly, magic-realist exploration of black history and black desire."

"An underground classic! The most complicated, intriguing, subtle, sophisticated and passionate black film of the '70s."

"A blood-soaked masterpiece. One of the most profound, surreal and horrifying love stories ever made."

"A visionary filmmaker."

Awards

  • Official Selection Cannes Film Festival

Press Kit

Hi-Res Images

Trailer EMB