AILEY – Review by Diane Carson

The documentary simply titled Ailey presents brilliant, choreographer Alvin Ailey through well-researched black-and-white archival video, audio excerpts from Ailey, and informative contemporary interviews with inspired devotees. With this, director Jamila Wignot interweaves the essentials of Ailey’s life story while foregrounding landmark performances, notably Blues Suite (1958), Revelations (1960), and Cry (1971), dedicated to his mother and motherhood at large.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK July 30, 2021: AILEY

Jamila Wignot’s captivating documentary Ailey is a welcome burst of celebration. This thoughtful chronicle of the life and work of groundbreaking, enormously talented dancer/choreographer Alvin Ailey centers Black pride, creativity, self-identity, empowerment, and achievement. And, of course, it captures the unforgettable performances that made Ailey and his company famous around the world.

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AILEY – Review by Marilyn Ferdinand

Filmmaker Jamila Wignot has such command of her art that she’s been able to make a documentary in such sympathy with its subject, Alvin Ailey, that we feel as though we understand him from the inside out. This quasi-experimental film that pieces together historical footage, archival footage of Ailey’s works and press interviews, reminiscences of people in his life, and a present-day dance in the making presents a biography unlike any I have ever seen.

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AILEY – Review by Loren King

Director Jamila Wignot blends performance, poetry and social consciousness in her documentary Ailey, about modern dance legend Alvin Ailey. Wignot crafts an impressionistic portrait of the artist and his time that’s reminiscent of the revelatory I Am Not Your Negro, the 2016 film about iconic writer James Baldwin.

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Melissa Haizlip on MR SOUL! and Ellis Haizlip’s Mega Legacy – Jennifer Merin interivews

Melissa Haizlip’s documentary, Mr. SOUL! mines a treasury of archival material to illustrate the scope and range of the legendary African American television show that was the focal point of Black culture from 1968-73. The film is also a tribute to SOUL!’s influential producer, Ellis Haizlip, Melissa Haizlip’s uncle.

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MR. SOUL! – Review by Marilyn Ferdinand

I knew nothing about Soul! or the estimable Ellis Haizlip before watching this documentary. I am so happy to have been introduced to both, and I hope that one day soon a show as intelligent, exciting, and unapologetic as Soul! was will return to the airwaves. Meanwhile, I’m very glad we have this documentary.

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