Ganja and Hess


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.


Release details

110 mins

Cast and crew

Bill Gunn
Bill Gunn
Duane Jones
Marlene Clark
Bill Gunn
Sam Waymon
Leonard Jackson
Richard Harrow
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