Rico Speight

Rico Speight is a producer/director/writer/editor of film, theatre and digital media. His documentary WHO'S GONNA TAKE THE WEIGHT? on African American and black South African young people at the fall of Apartheid, screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 1999. A follow-up sequel WHERE ARE THEY NOW? was broadcast nationally in South Africa in 2007 on SABC-TV.  Speight’s first documentary THE PEOPLE UNITED, now distributed by the Criterion Collection, profiles reactions of Boston's black community to anti-black racism in Boston, including a series of murders of young black women in the 1980s. Film scholar Clyde Taylor wrote of the production, “Film aesthetics have misled us if we cannot see that this is the practice of a cinema for the liberation, rather than the exploitation of our better feelings.”

Speight’s short documentary NEW GENERATION (2006) chronicled the views of Congolese young people on the crisis in the Congo during the 2nd Congo War (1998–2003).  His narrative credits include CHOICES, an original narrative short starring Samuel L Jackson and Hilary Martin Jones.  In 2010 and 2013, Speight directed a multi-media theatrical presentation of Aime Cesaire’s "A Season in the Congo" at Theater Row and at LaMaMa.  In 2017, he wrote, produced and directed ROBESON AND DUNHAM: ART & ACTIVISM 101, a multi-media play presented at the Gene Frankel Theatre in New York. Speight is currently producing REDISCOVERING FANON, a feature documentary on the life, ideas and contemporary influence of Frantz Fanon, the revolutionary psychiatrist, philosopher, and political theorist who inspired the Battle of Algiers.


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