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Ganja and Hess

  • Film

Time Out says

Gunn's film maudit was the most ambitious 'black movie' of its day and a milestone for indie film-making in the US. Opening captions explain that academic Dr Hess Green (Jones, Night of the Living Dead) has been invulnerable and addicted to blood since being stabbed (in a parody of Catholic dogma) with a dagger from 'the ancient Black civilisation of Myrthia'. Affluent and (thanks to discreet raids on a local blood-bank) comfortable, he avoids murdering for sustenance until stuck with a new assistant (Gunn), who turns out to be a suicidal alcoholic. Deliberately fragmented and punctuated with disquieting cutaways to art works, the film charts his growing sense that he is afflicted with a curse, across his marriage to his assistant's widow Ganja (Clark) and his provision of a stud-victim to feed her 'hunger'. Theological musings jostle with sexual-visceral imagery in a mix which is still very potent.
Written by TR

Release Details

  • Duration:110 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Bill Gunn
  • Screenwriter:Bill Gunn
  • Cast:
    • Duane Jones
    • Marlene Clark
    • Bill Gunn
    • Sam Waymon
    • Leonard Jackson
    • Richard Harrow
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