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Sun Ra’s Space Flick Gets DVD Reissue

You haven’t seen a great bad movie until you’ve seen Sun Ra’s Space Is the Place. Part musical documentary, part Biblical parable, part blaxploitation flick, part sci-fi epic, the film was one of the late pianist-philosopher’s rally calls directed at the black community, urging them to take notice and work to correct civil injustices in the Vietnam era. Due to its low-budget look and feel, and probably a half-baked screenplay, too, Space Is the Place only lasted in theaters for a very short time when released in 1974. And it’s usually not on the shelf at Blockbuster. But the hard-to-find cult flick will be released on DVD on October 28 with extra footage and other goodies included.

For the uninitiated, I offer a synopsis swiped straight from the press release announcing the movie’s DVD release: “After having traveled through space in a yellow spaceship propelled by music, Sun Ra finds a planet he believes could serve as a new home for the black race. Returning to earth, he lands in Oakland, Calif. circa 1972 and has to fight The Overseer, a supernatural villain who pimps out the black race. Sun Ra offers those who would follow him into space an “alter-destiny,” but the Overseer, the FBI, and NASA-who are after Ra’s Black Space Program-ultimately force him to return to space before the destruction of Earth.”

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