In conjunction with the current exhibition En Mas’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean, Musuem of the African Diaspora (MoAD) and the SF Latino Film Festival present Jump Up: The En Mas’ Film Series, six weeks of documentaries and features portraying the magical impact of Carnival in various places in the African Diaspora (Trinidad, Brazil, Guadeloupe, New Orleans, Cape Verde and New York). Each program has a strong focus on the music, performers and the flamboyant attire so central to the celebrations including calypso and soca of Trinidad, Salvador’s blocos afros, Guadeloupe’s zouk, Mardi Gras’ Black Indian clubs, the transgender paraders on São Vicente island and Brooklyn’s Caribbean saturated Labor Day festivities.
Tootie’s Last Suit (Lisa Katzman, 97 minutes, 2009)
The feature-length documentary, explores the complex relationships, rituals, history, and music of New Orleans’ vibrant Mardi Gras Indian culture while telling the story of Allison “Tootie” Montana, former Chief of Yellow Pocahontas Hunters. Celebrated throughout the New Orleans as “the prettiest,” for the beauty and inventiveness of his elaborately beaded Mardi Gras costumes, Tootie Montana masked for 52 years, longer than any other Mardi Gras Indian.
The Black Indians of New Orleans (Maurice Martinez, 35 minutes, 1976)
Considered a classic and the first in-depth film on the subject, the documentary reveals the sociocultural history of the Mardi Gras Indians, their costume preparation, music, songs, dance, and gatherings for a ritual practice.