Overtown’s Own

Purvis Young gets mad props at FLIFF

There are many reasons to head north to the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) this week, ranging from a rare screening of George Harrison’s fantastic Concert for Bangladesh (timed to commemorate the late Beatle’s birthday), to Sundance favorites like Old Joy. This year, as part of the Black History Month program, the respected festival brings some glory back to our coast with a locally based documentary, Purvis of Overtown. Filmmakers David Raccuglia and Shaun Conrad dove into Miami’s inner city for this sparkling portrait of the artist and his chosen community. The beautiful, skillfully edited film juxtaposes telling images of Young slowly pedaling past the gritty elements of street life and the trappings of high-caliber artists -- national gallery openings, crowded autograph signings, and adoring celebrity fans like Jane Fonda. Through it all, Young has retained his humility and essential, attractive warmth. “I’ve painted paintings in the gutter and they’ve wound up in mansions,” the earthy outsider wheezes in wonder. This film is a must-see for any Miamian who wants to feel proud of our schizophrenic, scattered, ever-evolving city.
Mon., Feb. 12, 7:30 p.m.

 
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