Black Beauty: For a Shamanic Cinema

African fashion model Alexandra Cartier meets Jorge Luis Borges in a visionary experience. What does the famous Argentine modernist writer have to say about our contemporary ecological and pandemic problems? Black Beauty: For a Shamanic Cinema is an expanded cinema proposal that allows the public to witness and access non-rational states through the creation of art and cinema; as a way of changing their perspective on subjects such as the environment, immigration, and Indigenous rights.
It relates to Grace Ndiritu’s wider art project “Healing the Museum,” which serves as a platform for a dialogue between differing ideas of viewing the world through the lens of both postmodernism and modernism. Working from the assertion that museums and cinemas are dying, Ndiritu sees shamanism as a way to re-activate the dying art and cinematic space as a space for sharing, participation, and ethics. From prehistoric to modern times the shaman was not only the group healer and facilitator of peace but also the creative; the artist and filmmaker.
by Grace Ndiritu
with Aida Welle, Emilio Linder, Lucas Azpurgua, Emile Massieu Yanes, Nicolás Celda Laurent-Atthalin, Andrea Celda Laurent-Atthalin, Marielena Correa Alcalá
United Kingdom / Belgium / Spain 2016 English 29’ Colour


  • Aida Welle (Alexandra Cartier)
  • Aida Welle (Karen Roberts)
  • Emilio Linder (Jorge Luis Borges)
  • Lucas Azpurgua (Carl De Long)
  • Emile Massieu Yanes (Tony)
  • Nicolás Celda Laurent-Atthalin (Paco)
  • Andrea Celda Laurent-Atthalin (Photographer)
  • Marielena Correa Alcalá (Makeup girl)


Written and Directed by Grace Ndiritu
Cinematography Pablo Paloma
Editing José María Avilés
Sound Design Martin Gabriel Scaglia
Sound José María Avilés
Production Design Pigmento Studio
Costumes Andrea Celda Laurent-Atthalin
Make-Up Mary Correa Alcalá
Casting Julieta Juncadella
Production Manager Elisa Celda Laurent-Atthalin
Commissioned by Artscouncil England
Kunstencentrum Vooruit (Belgium)
Coventry Biennale of Contemporary Art
Nottingham Contemporary Arts Center (United Kingdom)
Executive Producers Julieta Juncadella
Producers Julieta Juncadella, Grace Ndiritu

Produced by

Post-Hippie Productions

Una Presencia

Grace Ndiritu

Grace Ndiritu is a British-Kenyan artist whose artworks are concerned with the transformation of our contemporary world. Her work has been featured in international magazines and is housed in museum collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Modern Art Museum, Warsaw. Her writing on art and politics has been published in her nonfiction book “Dissent Without Modification” (Bergen Kunsthall, 2021), in Whitechapel Gallery: Documents of Contemporary Art, and in the “Paris Review,” among others.


2003 The Nightingale; 7 min. 2004 Desert Storm; 5 min. 2007 Natural Disasters (Urban Myths, Urban Legends); 5 min. 2009 Journeys North: Pole to Pole; 6 min. 2010 A Week in the News: 7 places we think we know, 7 news stories we think we understand; 35 min. 2015 Raiders of The Lost Ark; 45 min. 2021 Black Beauty: For a Shamanic Cinema

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2022