For most artists, it’s a badge of honour to find that their work is as relevant and powerful decades after the initial unveiling. Such achievement is bittersweet for US artist Cauleen Smith, whose acclaimed film, Drylongso, is better understood now than it ever was while it was released in 1998 when she was still at film school.
The plot focuses on an art student who starts photographing Black men out of fear they may soon go extinct, a narrative that feels horribly apt in 2020 following the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
“I never expected it to be as relevant now as it was then,” Smith tells us in a Zoom video call from her LA home. “The film has grown in popularity and seems more useful to people now than when I made it – then, it was looked at as a sociological document. I was