Inheritance, The: Ephraim Asili’s Provocative Debut (Godard’s La Chinoise)

After a decade of exploring different facets of the African diaspora—and his own place within it—Ephraim Asili makes his assured feature debut with The Inheritance.

It is a remarkable ensemble work set almost entirely within a West Philadelphia house where a community of young Black artists and activists form a collective.

A scripted drama of characters attempting to work towards political consensus—based partly on Asili’s own experiences in a Black liberationist group—it includes recollection of the Philadelphia liberation group MOVE, which was the victim of a notorious police bombing in 1985.

Asili calls his debut feature a remix of La Chinoise, Jean-Luc Godard’s 1967 mélange of Maoist politics among idealistic young Parisians.

Indeed, his original movie creates a critique and an homage at the same time, presenting an inquiry into revolutionary culture and Black identity.

Centering on politics, humor, and philosophy among Black authors and radicals, The Inheritance is a remarkable film about the world as we know it.

Asili’s boldly political experimental film asks what it means—and the costs and rewards—for Black people to form intentional communities.