Price: $310.00

    Code: 2415

    Directed by Diane Paragas & Nelson George
    2011, 84 minutes
    Purchase: $310 | Classroom Rental: $125

    In this inspiring, dynamic and colorful documentary, filmmaker Nelson George explores a singular neighborhood in Brooklyn that gave rise to an African-American arts movement in the late 20th century as vibrant as the Harlem Renaissance.

    Through interviews with Spike Lee, Chris Rock, Branford Marsalis, Rosie Perez, Vernon Reid, Lisa Jones Chapman, Lorna Simpson, Toure, Saul Williams, Kevin Powell, Talib Kweli, Carl Hancock Rux, and many others, Brooklyn Boheme celebrates the rise of a new kind of African American artist and chronicles an important chapter in African-American history.

    In the late 1970s, young black artists of every stripe, attracted by the proximity of the Village and affordable housing begin to move to Fort Greene and Clinton Hill neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Despite being a haven for crime, drugs and prostitution, the first seeds of a new renaissance were planted.

    In 1986, the success of local resident Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have It transformed the neighborhood into a magnet for artists. Block and house parties created close-knitted personal and creative relationships, and facilitated collaboration. The Brooklyn Moon café, and Spike Lee's production company, 40 Acres and a Mule, became epicenters for a creative movement.

    In the late 1990s, as crime fell and the NYC real estate market boomed, the gentrification of the Fort Greene/Clinton Hill area intensified. Today, many artists have left, but a few stalwarts remain - hoping to revive a community that was once such a mecca for young black artists. Brooklyn Boheme is a celebration of that creativity as well as a powerful illustration of the central role community plays in the construction of one's social, creative, and personal identity.

    Subjects & Collections

    Festivals & Awards

    Official Selection, Pan Africa Film Festival, 2012
    Official Selection, UrbanWorld Film Festival, 2011
    Official Selection, DOCNYC, 2011


    "A celebration and elegy for a scene that faded away in the face of real estate pressures and gentrification." - The New York Times

    "A revelation." - Slate

     width=  width=  width= " An interesting slice of black Americana, this is recommended." - Video Librarian

    " A fascinating glimpse into how a community shapes innovation and artistry, this film will appeal to anyone interested in social culture and artists and their influences". - Library Journal

    " This film is recommended for anyone interested in the historical and cultural roots of the featured artists, and for those in the work and origins of Brooklyn artists from the late 20th-early 21st century." - Educational Media Reviews Online

    "Provides a look at a changing community and the ways that the individuals living within that community have the ability to define and influence the perception and character of a place through their actions, beliefs, and behaviors particularly in an age of rapid development and change. The film should be of interest to anyone interested in the development of Brooklyn and its arts scene in the 20th century."- Christina Rieth, New York State Museum, Anthropology Review Database