Blinded at birth, Kirk had music in his blood from an early age. Self taught using anything he could to make music, including fashioning an instrument out of a garden hose, he rose to prominence through his unique method of playing three alto saxophones at once. This ability to play multiple instruments simutaneously was said to have come to him in a dream (as did his stage name); indeed, it has often been said about Kirk that his religion is the religion of dreams.
Combining interviews, archival footage and animation, The Case of the Three Sided Dream paints a rich portrait of a man on a musical and spiritual quest.
Most notably, the documentary covers his political activism. Kirk disliked the term “jazz” and often referred to it as "black classical music". Forming The Jazz and People’s Movement, he devised a manifesto that demanded more national television air time for the music genre. Through a series of disruptive stunts that targeted live television variety shows he remarkably got the attention of Ed Sullivan and was promptly booked on his program.
This soulful and engaging documentary is a warm and humane portrait of a unique jazz artist who was ever resilient and unperturbed by life’s obstacles.
The Case of the Three Sided Dream
Seasons & Screenings
29 May - 6 Jun
Blind multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk is given his due in this fascinating and highly entertaining documentary about a unique jazz artist and provocateur. A staunch believer in the prescience of dreams, Kirk used his imaginative dream life to fashion a singular career and persona.