Black Lives

Black Lives

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Black Lives
  • Black Fire

    1 season

    Made as part of an ongoing collaboration between experimental filmmaker Kevin Jerome Everson, historian Claudrena N. Harold, and the students and alumni of the University of Virginia, these unclassifiable, poetic short films explore the ways in which Black students have transformed the university...

  • Six Films by Camille Billops and James Hatch

    1 season

    Trailblazing artist and polymath Camille Billops (1933–2019) and her partner in life and work, James Hatch (1928–2020), left behind invaluable legacies as archivists who worked tirelessly to preserve records of Black cultural life and as filmmakers who turned their unflinching camera on Billops’s...

  • Directed by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun

    1 season

    Though they speak quietly, the films of Mahamat-Saleh Haroun register with devastating emotional force. The acclaimed auteur has lived in France since 1982, but most of his films are set in his native Chad, a country whose turbulent history of civil war provides the backdrop to deeply empathetic ...

  • Short Films by Akosua Adoma Owusu

    1 season

    Playful, funny, and brilliantly subversive, the films of Akosua Adoma Owusu use her identity as a Ghanaian American as a jumping-off point to explore the nuances of race, sexuality, and nationality in both the United States and Africa. Blurring the boundaries of experimental, narrative, and docum...

  • Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask

    Movie

    Directed by Isaac Julien • 1995 • United Kingdom

    FRANTZ FANON: BLACK SKIN, WHITE MASK explores the world of the preeminent theorist of twentieth-century anticolonialism, a French West Indian psychiatrist and political philosopher whose writings gave expression to the psychological burdens of exi...

  • Race, Sex & Cinema: The World of Marlon Riggs

    1 season

    Filmmaker, gay-rights activist, poet, professor, provocateur: the late, great Black artist Marlon Riggs (1957–94) spoke truth to power through his work in bracingly eloquent fashion. Working at the height of the AIDS crisis and the conservative culture wars of the 1980s and early ’90s, Riggs—who ...

  • Afrofuturism

    1 season

    Coined in 1994 by critic Mark Dery, the term “Afrofuturism” has become an essential framework for art about imagined and alternative Black experiences. As the author Ytasha Womack writes, “Afrofuturism combines elements of science fiction, historical fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy, Afrocen...

  • Starring Ruby Dee

    1 season

    Actor and activist Ruby Dee defied the prejudices and racist barriers of her time to forge a decades-long career at the forefront of both the civil rights movement and the evolving, increasingly nuanced representation of Black Americans on-screen. Emerging from Harlem’s American Negro Theater alo...

  • Directed by Gordon Parks

    1 season

    Gordon Parks was a true Renaissance man. The first African American to direct a major Hollywood feature—the moving coming-of-age saga THE LEARNING TREE—he was also a writer, composer, and brilliant photographer who created some of the most iconic images of his time, using his camera to expose pov...

  • Homegoings
    Movie + 3 extras

    Homegoings

    Movie + 3 extras

    Directed by Christine Turner • 2013 • United States
    Starring Isaiah Owens

    Filmed at Owens Funeral Home in New York City’s historic Harlem neighborhood, this revelatory documentary by Christine Turner takes an up-close look at the rarely seen world of undertaking in the Black community, where fun...

  • The Killing Floor
    Movie + 1 extra

    The Killing Floor

    Movie + 1 extra

    Directed by Bill Duke • 1984 • United States
    Starring Damien Leake, Alfre Woodard, Moses Gunn
    Exclusive streaming premiere

    Originally broadcast on PBS’s “American Playhouse” in 1984, the stirring first feature from actor and filmmaker Bill Duke explores the little-known story of an African Ameri...

  • Cane River
    Movie + 1 extra

    Cane River

    Movie + 1 extra

    Directed by Horace Jenkins • 1982 • United States
    Starring Richard Romain, Tommye Myrick, Carol Sutton
    Exclusive streaming premiere

    Written, produced, and directed by the late, trailblazing director Horace B. Jenkins and crafted by an entirely African American cast and crew, this luminous, recen...

  • THE PEOPLE UNITED and BLACK AND BLUE

    1 season

    In the midst of a historic reckoning over police brutality and systemic racism, two essential documentaries from the mid-1980s offer timely lessons on the power of protest. Alonzo Speight’s THE PEOPLE UNITED is a crucial snapshot of a decisive moment in Boston history when the city’s predominatel...

  • Daughters of the Dust

    Movie

    Directed by Julie Dash • 1991 • United States
    Starring Cora Lee Day, Alva Rogers, Barbara O. Jones

    Julie Dash’s rapturous vision of black womanhood and vanishing ways of life in the turn-of-the-century South was the first film directed by an African American woman to receive a wide release. In ...

  • A Dream Is What You Wake Up From

    Movie

    Directed by Larry Bullard and Carolyn Johnson • 1978 • United States

    Through a bold mix of narrative and documentary techniques, directors Carolyn Johnson and Larry Bullard explore the experiences of Black families in American society. Shuffling between day-to-day scenes of life at home, school,...

  • Babylon
    Movie + 2 extras

    Babylon

    Movie + 2 extras

    Directed by Franco Rosso • 1980 • United Kingdom, Italy
    Starring Brinsley Forde, David N. Haynes, Trevor Laird
    Exclusive streaming premiere

    A long-lost reggae classic reemerges. Suppressed following its Cannes premiere for fear that it would stoke racial tension, Franco Rosso’s incendiary portra...

  • Directed by Ngozi Onwurah

    1 season

    A vital cinematic voice of the Black diaspora, British-Nigerian filmmaker Ngozi Onwurah has forged an eclectic cinematic vocabulary that spans documentary and genre spectacle, formal experimentation and bold political commentary. Her short work includes autobiographical explorations of racial and...

  • Directed by Kathleen Collins

    1 season

    Trailblazing independent filmmaker Kathleen Collins was just forty-six at the time of her sudden death, but she left behind a rich legacy as a writer, academic, and filmmaker. This program presents her masterpiece LOSING GROUND, a perceptive portrait of a marriage at a crossroads, alongside the s...

  • Inspired by Marlon Riggs

    1 season

    In 1994, Marlon Riggs died from AIDS at the tragically young age of thirty-seven. Riggs’s untimely passing robbed the world of an artist of uncommon vision and empathy, but not of his work’s ability to galvanize and inspire future generations. This program comprises a selection of stylistically a...

  • Color Adjustment

    Movie

    Directed by Marlon Riggs • 1992 • United States

    Following his groundbreaking study of anti-Black stereotypes ETHNIC NOTIONS, Marlon Riggs turned his attention to the racial implications of America’s favorite addiction: television watching. COLOR ADJUSTMENT traces forty years of race relations th...

  • Ornette: Made in America

    Movie

    Directed by Shirley Clarke • 1985 • United States
    Starring Ornette Coleman

    This freewheeling documentary captures Ornette Coleman’s evolution over three decades. Documentary footage, dramatic scenes, and some of the first music-video-style segments ever made chronicle his boyhood in segregated T...

  • Inside Women Inside

    Movie

    Directed by Christine Choy and Cynthia Maurizio • 1978 • United States

    Christine Choy and Cynthia Maurizio offer a rare look at the degradation faced by women in prison, interviewing women who suffer daily within a system that disregards their humanity and neglects their basic needs.

  • Nettles
    Movie + 1 extra

    Nettles

    Movie + 1 extra

    Directed by Raven Jackson • 2018 • United States
    Starring James Vincent, Jordan-Amanda Hall, Duygu Eser

    In six chapters, the “stinging moments” that mark the lives of various women are evoked with striking, poetic intimacy.

  • An Act of Love

    Movie

    Directed by Lucy Knox • 2018 • Australia

    A close bond between two identical twins is tested when one sister rebels against their shared sense of oneness.