Swimming dreamily through beautifully ordinary footage of south London suburbia and Sierra Leone elevated by moments of cinematic surrealism, director Kahlil Joseph’s film Process says so much about Sampha without saying much at all. That is, dialogue is sparse, even musical performances take up just a small portion of the film, but instead Process tells a visual story, sewing together a filmic portrait of the musician.
The film begins and ends in Freetown Sierra Leone, where the musician’s parents came from, and features snippets of interviews with his family there and in Morden, London, that give a subtle glimpse into his personal life. He is also shown singing to empty venues, including a Morden bandstand from the singer’s childhood, and the Globe Theatre, Freetown. Process is described as a “love letter” to Sampha’s mother – who died in 2015 – and features a highly moving performance of (No One Knows Me) Like The Piano, an ode to her.
Interspersed with the documentary elements are more conceptual scenes: an empty swimming pool at Freetown’s National Siaka Steven Stadium occupied by a troupe of perfectly still dancers who slowly come to life throughout the film; and a woman in a spinning cocoon, seemingly travelling through time and dimensions.
The whole film constantly jumps from the past to the present to the imagined, but seamlessly and with a hazy, dreamlike quality. It is described by the team as “at once broad and specific… suggesting the greater power and magic of one’s soul and the closeness of one’s ancestors once those relationships are acknowledged”.
Over half an hour, the film seems to delve into Sampha’s mind, presenting his memories and creative muses in an enchanting patchwork.
Process is out today on Apple Music with Young Turks, produced by Pulse Films and Gamma Wave Films.
Watch a short clip below.
- Food for thought on the day the Global Climate Strike begins
- “I always thought Photoshop was a glorified MS paint”: James Lacey on his journey into design
- “If I am flagging on a shoot, she directs me”: Matthew Stone on working with FKA Twigs
- French illustrator Nicolas Ridou makes “the atmosphere the story” in his hypnotic works
- A routine, good music and Charlie Bones: Sean Bate on his graphic design inspirations
- In The Boys, Rick Schatzberg photographs his group in their 66th year of friendship
- “All you see is lazy photography everywhere”: Martin Parr discusses his career, Brexit and obsession
- The work of Xiangyu Liu is weird and fantastically unpredictable (some NSFW)
- Caterina Bianchini Studio designs a dog-themed identity for a conveyer belt cheese restaurant
- Ikea invites people to “try on” Virgil Abloh furniture collection at LFW
- Hans Findling on his experimental and multidisciplinary approach to design
- Introducing the It’s Nice That Graduates of 2019!