Rahsaan Roland Kirk, The Case Of The Three Sided Dream (Arthaus Musik/Monoduo Films)
Producer-Director Adam Kahan includes biographical facts throughout his film about Kirk (1935–1977), the most prominent jazz multi-instrumentalist of the late twentieth century. Friends, family members and Kirk bandsmen talk about his creativity, his determination and the blindness and blackness that were at the center of his life. The testimonial interviews provide facts, but what make this film a gripping, occasionally riotous, experience are sequences of the phenomenally gifted musician in action. The Jazz And Peoples Movement that Kirk founded led him to The Ed Sullivan Show with sidemen including Charles Mingus, Roy Haynes and Archie Shepp. “Wonderful…wonderful…wonderful,” Sullivan says with little conviction when Mingus’s “Haitian Fight Song” ends. The appearance did not result in greater receptivity to jazz on network TV. Ingenious animation by Måns Swanberg illustrates several Kirk voiceover clips, including the one about receiving the name Rahsaan in a dream.