“Bushman” To Be Released From The Archives
A restoration of the 1971 film titled “Bushman” by David Schickele has been announced. The restoration was undertaken by the U.C. Berkeley Art Museum Pacific Film Archive, and The Film Foundation, with support from the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation and Cinema Preservation Alliance.
The film follows the life of Gabriel, who travels from Nigeria to California to begin teaching at San Francisco State, during the 1968 turbulence. Though it originally began as purely comedic fiction, the lead actor Paul Eyam Nzie Okpokam was wrongly accused of being a terrorist during the university strike caused by the racial justice protest led by Black students that year, and he was later deported.
As a result of this, the film made a turn, documenting Opokam’s life experience and shining light on the racism and cultural discrimination he experienced.
“Bushman” has been described as a critical piece of black representation in American cinema.
David Schickele’s “Bushman” will debut in North America, making this the first time in over three decades that the film will be available to the public. It will re-screen at BAMPFA on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024.