Superbloom: An Emancipation Story

Toronto History Museums

Toronto, CAN - 2021

Superbloom: An Emancipation Story by Hyghly Alleyne, Eric Black, Michael Lee Poy and Philip Beesley is a short film set in the haunted sites of Toronto’s colonial slave-owning past. A young boy meets a Moko Jumbie ancestor who guides him in a dream-like journey inspired by Carnival rituals. He finds crystalline seeds that grow into potent visions of Black pride, love, and anguish. A deep connection between the elder and the boy results and creates powerful new paths of resistance, alliance and emancipation for future generations. 

Superbloom: An Emancipation Story is inspired by the Caribbean carnival with its intermixed African and European sources. Carnival became the locus for communal and personal expressions of freedom in the colonial public domain. Like the elaborate costumes and performances in carnival, dream-like visions within the film create an expansive sense of dignity and reverence and offer new symbols of emancipation. The seminal book Emancipation Day – Celebrating Freedom in Canada by Natasha L. Henry was a source for key images in the film. 

The film was directed by Hyghly Alleyne and produced by Eric Black in collaboration with Michael Lee Poy and Philip Beesley who contributed script, scenography and costume design. Umbereen Inayet was executive producer. The project featured performances by Lillian Allen, Xica Dieffenthaller-Lee Poy and Aziah Jansson-Auld, and included contributions from Remember the 400, OCADU, Waterloo Architecture’s Living Architecture Systems Group.

Superbloom: An Emancipation Story – City of Toronto