09 20 Oct '24
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Isaac Julien

Looking for Langston

Edition 1989
40' - 1989 - Drama, Biography - Dialogue: English
Director: Isaac Julien With: Ben Ellison, Matthew Baidoo, Akim Mogaji
This film is a visually beautiful and lyrical exploration of black and white gay identities. A poetic meditation on Langston Hughes's work and life-style during the jazz/blues infused Harlem Renaissance as one central motif for the representation of the black gay artist. The poetry of Essex Hemphill and Bruce Nugent and Langston Hughes are featured with a Jazz and Blues music: this and other texts weave through the stylized dramatic sequences and archive material in a film which celebrates gay desire and laments the attitudes these desires feit and expressed by contemporary society. In the words of James Baldwin :"A person does not lightly elect to oppose his society. One would much rather be at home among one's compatriots than be mocked and detested by them." (pressbook)

Image gallery

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Isaac Julien


Ben Ellison, Matthew Baidoo, Akim Mogaji

Director of Photography

Nina Kellgren


Robert Hargreaves

Non-original music

Blackberri, Wayson Jones

More information



Countries of production

United Kingdom



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