Montclair State University Alumna and adjunct professor Natalie Marx presented her film Muntu Child as an official selection in the ScreenDance Miami Festival 2020. The world premier of Marx’s experimental dance film that showcased at the Perez Art Museum was directed by Natalie Marx & Lenoardo Rua and choreographed by Shamar Watt. Portrayed by Jamaican dancer Shamar Watt and Ph.D. student and performance artist Luis C. Rincón Alba, the film features a couple, Anaka and Mané both 28, who embark upon a journey in search of freedom while transcending time. The two are aided along their exploration with the help of their egúns (ancestors) and the Orishas (African deities).
Influenced by the epic African novel Changó el Gran Putas (Changó, the Biggest Badass) written by Manuel Zapata Olivella and published in 1980– the narrative addresses the four-hundred-year African American experience while championing liberation among the muntu (human and or person(s)). After making its preliminary rounds to film festivals, Natalie Marx’s and Leonardo Rua’s Muntu Child will continue evolving with lengthier iterations of the film.