Garrett Bradley: Short Films: Block Museum - Northwestern University
Skip to main content

Garrett Bradley: Short Films

Still from Garrett Bradley's "America"
Still from Garrett Bradley's "America"
12 PM

Event Details

Date & Time:

Mon May 24, 2021 - Fri May 28, 2021
12 PM


The Block Museum of Art
40 Arts Circle Drive
Evanston, IL 60208


Open to the public


“Garrett Bradley: Short Films”
presents three films by American artist and filmmaker Garrett Bradley, the 2021 Hoffman Visiting Artist for Documentary Media.

Starting at 12 PM Central Time on May 24, “Garrett Bradley: Short Films” will be available on the Block’s Eventive page. The program consists of three short films: Like (2016), The Earth is Humming (2018), and America (2019). 

The films will be available to watch for a 5 day period, ending at 2 PM on May 28, with the option of closed captions. Please pre-order for access. 


Live Conversation on May 27

On Thursday, May 27 at 6:30 pm CST, Block Cinema and the School of Communication at Northwestern will host a live screening of
America, followed by a conversation between Garrett Bradley and Prof. Huey Copeland (BFC Presidential Associate Professor of Art History, University of Pennsylvania), with audience Q&A. 


About the program


Leading up to the release of her celebrated 2020 documentary Time, director Garrett Bradley honed her poetic voice and keen eye for detail in a series of remarkable shorts. In conjunction with her residency as 2021’s Hoffman Visiting Artist for Documentary Media, the Block presents three of these films, showcasing her versatility as a journalistic observer and an experimental film artist. Two documentaries, Like (2016, 10 min) and The Earth Is Humming (2018, 13 min), look at the “click farms” of Bangladesh and the earthquake preparedness industry in Japan, striking a balance between reverie and reportage. America (2019, 30 min) is a sweeping cinematic re-envisioning of early 20th-century Black life, as it might have been depicted in an alternate film history free of racist violence and erasure. Though formally and thematically disparate, these three films reveal Bradley’s unmistakable gifts for insight, evocation, and compassion.

Garrett Bradley is the School of Communication’s 2021 Hoffman Visiting Artist for Documentary Media, a short-term filmmaker residency funded by a generous gift from Jane Steiner Hoffman and Michael Hoffman.


About the films



Garrett Bradley, 2019, 30min, USA, digital, no dialogue

What would film history look like if the shroud of white supremacy had been torn away from the lens of early American cinema? Inspired by Lime Kiln Field Day (1914), the earliest surviving silent film to feature African American actors, America seeks to answer this question, imagining scenes of everyday Black life–work, romance, spirituality, play and celebration–otherwise missing from the historical record. Weaving between archival footage and lustrous 35mm tableaux, America is at once dreamlike and tactile, with a richness of detail and meaning that rewards multiple viewings.



Garrett Bradley, 2016, 10 min, USA, digital, Bengali with English subtitles

What is the value of a “like”? Working in short form for Field of Vision, Bradley offers a glimpse into the lives of workers paid to “like” Facebook posts in Dhaka, Bangladesh. With a journalistic impulse and aesthetic curiosity, Like explores the surprising opportunities of this emerging economy, finding new visual and sonic possibilities to represent the unseen but pervasive labor of an online world.

The Earth is Humming

Garrett Bradley, 2018, 13 min, USA, digital, Japanese with English subtitles

In earthquake-prone Japan, the difference between a natural phenomenon and a disaster boils down to a lack of preparedness. In The Earth is Humming, Bradley melds documentary and educational film techniques to address the pervading sense of anxiety in Japanese culture and its resulting disaster industry.

Co-presented by The Block Museum of Art with support from MFA in Documentary Media and Northwestern School of Communication.

Free and open to all.

Contact The Block Museum of Art for more information: (847) 491-4000 or email us at