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Release Date:
7 October 2011 (USA) See more »
Part documentary, part personal essay, this experimental film combines archive imagery with the striking wintry landscapes of Alaska to tell the story of immigrant experience coming into the UK from 1960 onwards. | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
An extraordinary visual achievement See more (3 total) »

Directed by
John Akomfrah 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
John Akomfrah 

Produced by
Lina Gopaul .... producer
David Lawson .... producer
Original Music by
Trevor Mathison 
Cinematography by
Dewald Aukema 
Film Editing by
Miikka Leskinen 
Visual Effects by
Rick McMahon .... compositor
Rick McMahon .... visual effects artist
Editorial Department
Michelle Cort .... digital intermediate technician
Tim Drewett .... digital film technician
M.J. McMahon .... post-production consultant
Andy Richards .... supervising DI conform editor
Katelin Westwood .... data transfer
Other crew
François Kamffer .... di technician

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
90 min
Sound Mix:
Dolby Digital (RCA Sound System)
Filming Locations:

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Movie Connections:
Edited from Mnemosyne (2010/I)See more »


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An extraordinary visual achievement, 6 July 2015
Author: Martin Bradley ( from Derry, Ireland

John Akomfrah's extraordinary film "The Nine Muses" isn't so much a documentary as a visual essay on the theme of immigration from the West Indies to the UK in the 1960's as it alternates between a forbidding Alaska, (for purely visual reasons, I'm sure) and a winterly Britain, both past and present. It looks amazing although the highfalutin narration, taken from everything from the Greek Myths to Shakespeare to James Joyce, and which gives the film its title, may put some people off.

While not in anyway similar it reminded me very much of the films of Andrew Kotting and of "Sleep Furiously". There's something a little precious about the cross-cutting between the images of a totally inhospitable Alaska and an unwelcoming and grimly bleak UK as the black immigrants pile off the ships for a life lived out in steel mills and sweat shops. It isn't necessarily a film to draw you in; you are kept at a discreet distance. This is an art-house exploration of the immigrant experience that most people will fail to identify with; a video installation, more at home in a gallery than in a cinema. That said, once you find yourself set down in front of it, it is impossible to take your eyes off the screen. Documentary films may be many things but few are as much a work of art as this one is.

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