Special Showing

Milford Graves Full Mantis

Saturday, October 20, 4:30pm

Special screening with director Jake Meginsky in person.

Williams College students free with ID


Milford Graves Full Mantis

Starring: Milford Graves

MILFORD GRAVES FULL MANTIS is the first ever feature-length portrait of renowned percussionist Milford Graves, exploring his kaleidoscopic creativity and relentless curiosity.

Graves has performed internationally since 1964, both as a soloist and in ensembles with such legends as Albert Ayler, Giuseppi Logan and Sonny Sharrock. He is a founding pioneer of avant-garde jazz, and he remains one of the most influential living figures in the evolution of the form.

The film draws the viewer through the artist’s lush garden and ornate home, into the martial arts dojo in his backyard and the laboratory in his basement - all of this just blocks from where he grew up in the housing projects of South Jamaica, Queens.

Graves tells stories of discovery, struggle and survival, ruminates on the essence of 'swing,' activates electronic stethoscopes in his basement lab to process the sound of his heart, and travels to Japan where he performs at a school for children with autism, igniting the student body into an ecstatic display of spontaneous collective energy.

Oscillating from present to past and weaving intimate glimpses of the artist’s complex cosmology with blistering performances from around the globe, MILFORD GRAVES FULL MANTIS is cinema full of fluidity, polyrhythm and intensity, embodying the essence of Graves’ music itself.

  • Director: Jake Meginsky, Neil Young
  • Runtime: 1 hour 31 minutes
  • Genre: Documentary

“Form and content collide in inspiring ways in this documentary about Milford Graves — avant-garde jazz percussionist, educator, gardener, martial artist, and cardiovascular researcher. Milford Graves Full Mantis is a jazz movie in every sense of the word.”

– Village Voice

Co-sponsored by Williams College Music Department.

Special Showing

The Chinese Exclusion Act

Sunday, October 28 at 8pm

Images Cinema

This free screening will be introduced by Williams College Professor Sam Crane, Chair of Asian Studies. Following the screening, director Li-Shin Yu will join Professor Scott Wong of the Williams History Department for an on-stage Q&A.


The Chinese Exclusion Act

On May 6th, 1882, on the eve of the greatest wave of immigration in American history, President Chester A. Arthur signed into law a unique piece of federal legislation. Called the Chinese Exclusion Act, it singled out as never before a specific race and nationality for exclusion, making it illegal for Chinese workers to come to America and for Chinese nationals already here ever to become citizens of the United States.

A deeply American story about immigration and national identity, civil rights and human justice; about how we define who can be an American and what being an American means, the film examines the economic, cultural, social, legal, racial and political dimensions of the law, delving into the forces and events that gave rise to it and the effect it had—and continues to have—on American culture and identity.

The Chinese Exclusion Act explores in riveting detail this little known, yet deeply resonant and revealing episode in American history—one that sheds enormous light on key aspects of the history of American civil liberties, immigration and culture during one of the most formative periods of U.S. history.

  • Director: Ric Burns, Li-Shin Yu
  • Rating: NR
  • Runtime: 1 hour 51 minutes
  • Genre: Documentary

“Tracing the story of Chinese immigration from 1840 to the present, it provides a well-documented but not well-known alternate history — a corrective to the national myth of the melting pot.”

– New York Times

Sponsored by the Williams College Departments of Asian Studies and American Studies