The African Desperate follows Palace Bryant on one very long day in 2017 that starts with her MFA graduation in upstate New York and ends at a Chicago Blue Line Station. Set against the lush back- drop of late summer, Palace navigates the pitfalls of self-actualization and the fallacies of the art world. Shot through with Syms’s celebrated conceptual grit, humor, social commentary, and vivid visual language, The African Desperate leads us through picturesque landscapes and artists’ studios, from academic critiques to backseat hookups, and from the night of a wild graduation party to the morning of a lonely trip back home.
Both of us are really interested in poetry—that’s part of why we are interested in having a script put out by Nightboat, which is a poetry press we love. So maybe there are things in the written screenplay that you wouldn’t find in the film. It was important for us that something work on a page. -Martine Syms, Artnet