I Walk on Water
Filmmaker Khalik Allah has a new film – IWOW: I Walk On Water – coming in at a massive 200 minutes.
As with earlier work, Allah returns to Lex/125 and films a hallucinatory portrait of the men and women of the M35, K2, mental illness, and homelessness:
Since 2011, filmmaker and photographer Khalik Allah (Black Mother) has attracted global attention for his radiant portraits of the denizens of 125th and Lexington in East Harlem. In IWOW: I Walk On Water, Allah returns to the intersection as the foundation to explore personal narratives of intimacy, voice, memory, identity and personal transformation.
Allah focuses his attention on longtime muse Frenchie, a 60-something schizophrenic, homeless Haitian man. Over the summer of 2019, Allah and Frenchie’s lives became increasingly intertwined—a relationship that Allah documents with radical, spiritual transparency. In parallel, Allah also turns the camera on himself to document a turbulent romantic relationship and grapple with personal notions of spirituality and mortality – all inquiries about which he gathers advice from charismatic confidants including Fab 5 Freddy, members of the Wu-Tang Clan, and, in deeply moving exchanges, his own mother.
By questioning universal and personal inward dynamics, IWOW obscures the boundary between conceptual art and memoir. Sometimes painful in its vulnerability, often extremely funny in its candor, and always visually extraordinary, Allah’s one-of-a-kind, intimate epic is a contemporary rethinking of the diary film: Gordon Parks meets Jonas Mekas.