A Legacy and a Landmark

A Legacy and a Landmark

2 Episodes

Kathleen Collins’s independent landmark LOSING GROUND is a luminous, brilliantly perceptive portrait of a marriage at a crossroads and a woman’s emotional awakening. One of the first films to explore black female desire with nuance and philosophical complexity, it contains a key allusion to actress Pearl McCormack and her role in the 1927 race film THE SCAR OF SHAME, a fascinating silent melodrama that, like LOSING GROUND, touches on issues of class and African American social mobility. Made more than fifty years apart, these touchstone works—once neglected, now cherished—speak to a rich counterhistory of black filmmaking that extends across generations.

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A Legacy and a Landmark
  • Losing Ground

    Episode 1

    Directed by Kathleen Collins • 1982 • United States
    Starring Seret Scott, Bill Gunn, Duane Jones

    One of the first feature films directed by an African American woman, Kathleen Collins’s LOSING GROUND tells the story of a marriage between two remarkable people, both at a crossroads in their lives...

  • The Scar of Shame

    Episode 2

    Directed by Frank Perugini • 1929 • United States
    Starring Harry Henderson, Lucia Lynn Moses, Lawrence Chenault

    When a young woman (Lucia Moses) escapes from her abusive father (William E. Pettus), she is rescued by an aspiring composer (Harry Henderson), but encounters opposition from his class...