In "1955", award-winning opera singer Onry honors the legacy of Emmett Till, an African American teenager whose murder catalyzed the civil rights movement.
In grieving this act of violence, Onry honors his ancestors, creates space for Black imagination, and asks what we must do in 2022 and beyond to create an inclusive, spacious future. This powerful short film explores the time slippage of generational trauma, drawing parallels, both real and imagined, between 1955 and 2022.
“1955” underscores themes of justice, power, and the creative act as transformative resistance. Onry’s performance brings joy and pain to the surface, showcasing the marginalized body in acts of ritual. In doing so, he affirms creativity as a tool for healing and resilience in the face of deadly oppression.
Directed and Filmed by Martin Melnick @Martin_Melnick
Music by Jonathan Mooney @showmethemooney & Onry @mr_onry
Management and Post Production by Joni Whitworth @filbertgoddex
Lighting by Brynden McNew @Brynden
Choreography by Franco Nieto @fcofoto
Set decoration by Sarah Awa’xe @sarah_chelsea and Ashton Davenport @ashdport
Production assistance by Rellie Hailstone @R3llie
Assistant Musical Director and background vocals by Emily Haswell @emily_is_well
Wardrobe by Talia Gordon @thelightwedeserve
Joshua Khatena @Joshua.Khatena
Alex Lohmann @the_casual_scene
Amarantha Harrison @amaranthaharrison
Charles Roy Jr @charlesroyjr
Sarah Awa’xe @sarah_chelsea
Ashton Davenport @ashdport
Special thanks to:
Junior's Cafe, Dig A Pony, The Vintage Tour Bus Company, Oregon Humanities, Open Space Dance Studio, The Budget Inn Gladstone
An Invade Motion Pictures Production in Association with Future Prairie