Black Lives

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Black Lives
  • The End of Innocence

    1 season

    The illusions of youth come to an abrupt end in two heartrending tales of innocence lost. Strikingly shot along the coast of Ghana, Anthony Nti’s award-winning short DA YIE takes viewers on an unsettling adventure involving two guileless children, a charming stranger, and a sinister plot. It’s pa...

  • The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975

    Movie

    Directed by Göran Olsson • 2011 • Sweden, United States

    THE BLACK POWER MIXTAPE 1967–1975 mobilizes a treasure trove of 16 mm material shot by Swedish journalists who came to the U.S. to seek out stories of urban unrest and revolution. Gaining access to many of the leaders of the Black Power mov...

  • Two by Menelik Shabazz

    1 season

    The groundbreaking Barbados-born British filmmaker Menelik Shabazz, who passed away this June, was one of the leading lights of Black British cinema. Part of a generation of filmmakers who built their own institutions in order to bring their visions to the screen, Shabazz cofounded the Ceddo Film...

  • Three Starring Cicely Tyson

    1 season

    Legendary actor Cicely Tyson, who passed away in January at age ninety-six, brought a powerful presence, dignity, and strength to each of her pioneering performances, which were instrumental in advancing the depiction of Black women on-screen. This tribute gathers three of her finest hours: her s...

  • Starring Josephine Baker

    1 season

    Dancer, singer, actor, activist, and incandescent emblem of Jazz Age Paris, the elegant, vivacious, and startlingly modern Josephine Baker was born in St. Louis, but it was in her adopted home of France that she first rose to fame performing in the legendary Folies Bergère. Her uninhibited dancin...

  • The Diaspora Suite

    1 season

    Made over the course of seven years and shot on 16 mm in Brazil, Canada, Ethiopia, Ghana, Jamaica, and the United States, this revelatory cycle of five short films by Ephraim Asili collapses time and space to reveal the hidden resonances that connect the Black American experience to the greater A...

  • Four Films by Michelle Parkerson

    1 season

    For Michelle Parkerson, filmmaking and activism are inextricably entwined. Using her camera to bring untold stories of Black and queer female identity to the screen as a producer and director, Parkerson has profiled trailblazing performers and activists such as influential jazz singer Betty Carte...

  • Yellow Fever

    Movie

    Directed by Ng’endo Mukii • 2012 • United Kingdom, Kenya

    What does beauty look like? In this award-winning short, Kenyan filmmaker Ng’endo Mukii combines animation, performance, and experimental techniques to create a visually arresting and psychologically penetrating exploration of the insidiou...

  • Two by Stephen Winter

    1 season

    One of the most exciting and iconoclastic voices in radical queer cinema, Stephen Winter makes films that are as politically explosive as they are riotously entertaining. In his outré satire CHOCOLATE BABIES, a band of self-described “raging, atheist, meat-eating, HIV-positive, colored terrorists...

  • From the Salon to the Boardroom

    1 season

    Mariama Diallo’s fiendishly subversive short HAIR WOLF blends horror and Blaxploitation tropes to satirize racism, gentrification, and cultural appropriation via the story of employees at a Black hair salon confronting a strange new monster: white women intent on literally sucking the lifeblood f...

  • To Sleep with Anger
    Movie + 4 extras

    To Sleep with Anger

    Movie + 4 extras

    Criterion Collection Edition #963

    A slow-burning masterwork of the early 1990s, this third feature by Charles Burnett is a singular piece of American mythmaking. In a towering performance, Danny Glover plays the enigmatic southern drifter Harry, a devilish charmer who turns up out of the blue on...

  • The Inheritance

    Movie

    Directed by Ephraim Asili • 2020 • United States

    After nearly a decade exploring different facets of the African diaspora—and his own place within it—Ephraim Asili makes his feature-length debut with this astonishing ensemble work set almost entirely within a West Philadelphia house inhabited by...

  • Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love

    Movie

    Directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi • 2008 • Senegal

    This gorgeously photographed, music-infused documentary by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi offers a portrait of world-renowned Senegalese pop sensation Youssou N’Dour. In 2004, responding to negative perceptions about his Muslim faith, N’Dour reco...

  • Mandabi
    Movie + 4 extras

    Mandabi

    Movie + 4 extras

    Directed by Ousmane Sembène • 1968 • Senegal
    Starring Makuredia Guey, Yunus Ndiaye, Isseu Niang

    This second feature by Ousmane Sembène was the first movie ever made in the Wolof language—a major step toward the realization of the trailblazing Senegalese filmmaker’s dream of creating a cinema by,...

  • Five Films by Mati Diop

    1 season

    With her breathtaking feature debut, ATLANTICS, French-Senegalese filmmaker Mati Diop has emerged as one of contemporary cinema’s most bracing and distinctive voices. Her singular vision is on full display in her extraordinary short films, intricate, mysterious documentary-fiction hybrid works th...

  • 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...

  • Putney Swope
    Movie + 2 extras

    Putney Swope

    Movie + 2 extras

    Directed by Robert Downey Sr. • 1969 • United States
    Starring Arnold Johnson, Laura Greene, Buddy Butler

    The most popular film by Robert Downey Sr. is this offbeat classic about the antics that ensue after Putney Swope (Arnold Johnson, his voice dubbed by a gravelly Downey), the token black man ...

  • The Relic Quadrilogy

    1 season

    Part of a sprawling, ongoing multimedia project by artist Larry Achiampong, these four films imagine a future in which the global West has begun a decline into obsolescence, while a unified Africa ascends into prosperity, harmony, and a leadership role in the world, an Afrofuturist utopia in whic...

  • The Singing, Dancing Documentaries of George T. Nierenberg

    1 season

    An infectious sense of joy lights up the documentaries of George T. Nierenberg, whose films are essential records of African American cultural achievement. With his touchstone documentary NO MAPS ON MY TAPS and its follow-up ABOUT TAP, Nierenberg helped to revitalize interest in the art of tap da...

  • Starring Paul Robeson

    1 season

    All-American athlete, scholar, renowned baritone, stage actor, and social activist, Paul Robeson (1898–1976) was a towering figure and a trailblazer many times over. He was perhaps most groundbreaking, however, in the medium of film. The son of an escaped slave, Robeson managed to become a top-bi...

  • Daughters of the Dust

    Movie + 1 extra

    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 ...

  • 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...

  • 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...