Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 20, 2021

Lil' Buck: Real Swan


Year: 2019
Country: USA
Run Time: 85 minutes

Lil' Buck: Real Swan
Lil' Buck: Real Swan
Lil' Buck: Real Swan
Lil' Buck: Real Swan

The electrifying dance style known as “jooking”—a bouncing, bucking, fleet-footed technique coming out of the underground hiphop scene of 1980s Memphis—is captured in this dizzying love letter to the dance sensation. At its center is jooking superstar, Lil’ Buck, a gifted and pioneering street performer who shot to worldwide fame when a viral video of him dancing alongside cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s rendition of Camille Saint-Saëns’ The Swan hit the internet to an enraptured global audience. LIL’ BUCK: REAL SWAN is an ode to his smooth signature style of seamlessly folding classical ballet technique into a more homestyle bucking energy. The story burrows into the impressive discipline and singular skillset that made him into a renowned icon today. Equally a portrait of Memphis itself, the film beautifully photographs the city’s distinctive character, offering an intimate look at the locations and neighborhoods where jook culture was born. This documentary, which is a soaring new work deeply rooted in a tactile sense of history and place, serves as a breathtaking introduction to the captivating talents of Lil’ Buck himself. — R.J.T.

CIFF44 Screenings

Tower City Cinemas

Friday, April 03, 2020 at 7:15 PM ET

Saturday, April 04, 2020 at 1:25 PM ET

Sunday, April 05, 2020 at 7:15 PM ET

Accessibility (?): No closed captions, audio description, English subtitles

African Diaspora
Film Is Art

Nesnadny + Schwartz Portrait Documentary Competition


Louis Wallecan

Victor Lech

Mathieu de Montgrand

Basile Belkhiri

Print Source

Community Partners


Karamu House

Verb Ballets

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