J. B. Murray: Writing in Unknown Tongues (1986)

About the Film

He use my fingers.
I can't use them on my own.
Jesus, use the instrument of my fingers.

John Bunion (J. B.) Murray (1908-1988) was a farmer who lived in rural Glascock County, Georgia, near the community of Mitchel. When he was approximately seventy years of age, believing he had experienced a vision from God, he began writing a non discursive script on adding machine tape, wall board, and stationery. He described it as "the language of the Holy Spirit, direct from God" and interpreted it using a bottle of water as a focusing device. In the last ten years of his life he made over a thousand paintings, introducing the script into fields of color and adding figures that represent "the evil people; the ones that are dry tongued, the one's that don't know God". Murray's works are exhibited throughout the world and he is represented in collections in Japan, Switzerland, France, and the United States.

See the filmmaker Judith McWillie's site LESSONS AND CHANTS -- an interactive forum dedicated to the contributions of American artists of African descent to our nation's culture and identity.


For licensing, film rights and permissions, contact Judith McWillie, the distributor, or Folkstreams.