And When I Die, I Won’t Stay Dead. 2015. USA/Portugal. Directed by Billy Woodberry. 89 min.
A contemporary of Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs, Bob Kaufman is one of the Beat Generation’s most overlooked artists. The African American surrealist poet led a life laced with tragedy, and here his story is given a focus worthy of his indescribable talent. Lovingly assembled from photo montages, laid-back interviews with those who knew him, and the cool, angered rhythms of Kaufman’s poetry, celebrated filmmaker Billy Woodberry’s return to the director’s chair is a powerful work of biography that refuses to shy away from the darker periods of the poet’s life—a decade spent under a vow of silence, battles with drug addiction, and the isolation that followed his abandonment of his familial responsibilities.