The Nine Muses | Chicago Reader

The Nine Muses

A bookworm's delight, this 2010 experimental feature by John Akomfrah (Handsworth Songs) incorporates passages from Homer, Dante, Cummings, Eliot, and other classic authors into a dense literary mosaic. The unifying theme is emigration, with many of the quotations coming from the Odyssey and much of the imagery depicting ethnic groups that settled in England after World War II. This can be hard to follow in its particulars (I had trouble understanding how the images of the Alaskan wilderness fit into the overall design), but Akomfrah organizes the various elements so fluidly that the movie is enjoyable purely as a sensory experience. Akomfrah wants to find traces of classical mythology in the modern world; in the process, he conveys a sense of wonder about civilization in general.



  • John Akomfrah


  • Lina Gopaul
  • David Lawson

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