- Kevin Jerome Everson
- United States
- 68 min
- Colour and B&W
- Picture Palace Pictures
Spicebush is an experimental feature film that interweaves various fragmentary narratives concerning education, landscapes, gaining and losing a job, and the passage of time.
Some parts are clearly symbolic, while others offer more usual forms of drama or documentary. The film contains beautiful and unusual archive material from a variety of sources. Taste and vision combine to form a beautiful unity in this diversity. One returning motif is a little girl in different disguises and different places. According to the film maker, she has the role of the chorus in a classical drama, providing an aloof commentary. In his unique and idiosyncratic way, Everson looks at the often-unknown history of black Americans. A political film, but the director obviously shuns the traditional form of the realistic documentary. Apparently he wants to emphasise aspects that demand a more complex and basically poetic approach. The title of the film is derived from the butterfly of the State of Mississippi, the «spicebush swallowtail». In the film, Mississippi is a place of origin. The butterfly with the beautiful name stands for innovation and starting afresh.
(Gertjan Zuilhof, International Film Festival Rotterdam)
Kevin Jerome Everson was born in 1965, Mansfield Ohio. Since the 1980s he has directed numerous short films, and nine feature lengths. Most of these are anchored in the collection or staging of gestures, postures and attitudes of the black American working class.