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The Death of Tom streaming


The Death of Tom movie

The Death of Tom

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23 min 0 USD

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For this project Ligon originally intended to re-create the last scene of a 1903 silent film adaptation of the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin from 1852. In the film, white actors in blackface played the principal roles. Tom, the film's protagonist and a slave, dies in the final scene, and images of the future—including the end of the American Civil War and the emancipation of slaves—materialize behind him. After footage of his reenactment was processed, Ligon discovered that the film was blurred and the imagery had disappeared. Leaving the footage unedited, he added a commissioned score played by the jazz pianist Jason Moran. In the final work, a cinematic scenario deeply intertwined with the complex and painful history of representations of ethnic difference has been transformed into a series of abstract black, white, and gray traces.

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