Black Lives

Black Lives

Black Lives
  • Homegoings
    Movie + 4 extras


    Movie + 4 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...

  • Black Girl
    Movie + 8 extras

    Black Girl

    Movie + 8 extras

    Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project

    Ousmane Sembène was one of the greatest and most groundbreaking filmmakers who ever lived, as well as the most renowned African director of the twentieth century—and yet his name still deserves to be better known in the rest of the world. He made his featur...

  • The Killing Floor
    Movie + 2 extras

    The Killing Floor

    Movie + 2 extras

    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...


    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...

  • A Dream Is What You Wake Up From


    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,...

  • 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...

  • Ornette: Made in America


    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


    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


    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


    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.

  • Pioneers of African American Cinema

    3 seasons

    Among the most fascinating chapters of cinematic history is that of the so-called “race films” that flourished in the U.S. between the 1920s and ’40s. Unlike the “black cast” films produced within the Hollywood studio system, these films not only starred African Americans but were funded, written...

  • A Well Spent Life
    Movie + 2 extras

    A Well Spent Life

    Movie + 2 extras

    Directed by Les Blank • 1971 • United States

    A deeply moving tribute to the Texas songster, Mance Lipscomb, considered by many to be the greatest guitarist of all time.

  • Hairat
    Movie + 1 extra


    Movie + 1 extra

    Directed by Jessica Beshir • 2017 • Ethiopia

    Yussuf Mume Saleh journeys nightly into the outskirts of the walled city of Harar to bond with his beloved hyenas, a ritual he has practiced for over thirty-five years. Shot in black and white, HAIRAT is a meditation on this uniquely symbiotic relatio...

  • Born in Flames
    Movie + 1 extra

    Born in Flames

    Movie + 1 extra

    Directed by Lizzie Borden • 1983 • United States
    Starring Honey, Adele Bertei, Jean Satterfield

    The film that rocked the foundations of the 1980s underground, this postpunk provocation is a DIY fantasia of female rebellion set in America ten years after a social-democratic cultural revolution. W...

  • Jazz Shorts 1929–1939

    1 season

    Louis Armstrong swings, Bing Crosby croons, and Billie Holiday sings the blues in these tune-filled shorts, featuring some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time in their electrifying prime. Made as preludes to accompany feature films, these minimusicals helped popularize future superstars—fr...

  • Hot Pepper


    Directed by Les Blank • 1973 • United States

    A companion piece to DRY WOOD that was filmed simultaneously, this is an energetic portrait of the Grammy-winning Creole musician Clifton Chenier, a.k.a. the King of Zydeco. HOT PEPPER brings viewers into the Louisiana juke joints where Chenier plays ...

  • Pillars


    Directed by Haley Elizabeth Anderson • 2020 • United States
    Starring Kadence King

    One Sunday at church, twelve-year-old Amber experiences her first kiss, a moment of innocence that triggers a series of awakenings: sexual, emotional, and religious.

  • Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Two Takes by William Greaves

    Movie + 4 extras

    Directed by William Greaves • 1968 • United States
    Starring William Greaves, Patricia Ree Gilbert, Don Fellows

    In his one-of-a-kind fiction/documentary hybrid SYMBIOPSYCHOTAXIPLASM: TAKE ONE, the pioneering William Greaves presides over a beleaguered film crew in New York’s Central Park, leaving...

  • Sidewalk Stories
    Movie + 1 extra

    Sidewalk Stories

    Movie + 1 extra

    Directed by Charles Lane • 1989 • United States
    Starring Charles Lane, Nicole Alysia, Tom Alpern

    An unsung miracle of American independent filmmaking, SIDEWALK STORIES reworks Charlie Chaplin’s slapstick classic THE KID for 1980s New York. Writer-director Charles Lane casts himself as a modern-d...

  • Shakedown


    Directed by Leilah Weinraub • 2018 • United States

    Charting the eight-year run of Shakedown, a peripatetic black lesbian strip club in Los Angeles, director Leilah Weinraub attempts “to portray the before and after of a utopic moment.” Weinraub presents a world unto itself, shaped by the desires...

  • Portrait of Jason


    Directed by Shirley Clarke • 1967 • United States
    Starring Jason Holliday

    On the night of December 2, 1966, Shirley Clarke and a tiny crew convened in her apartment at the Hotel Chelsea to make a film. For twelve straight hours, they filmed the one-and-only Jason Holliday as he spun tales, sang,...

  • My Brother’s Wedding


    Directed by Charles Burnett • 1983 • United States
    Starring Everett Silas, Jessie Holmes, Gaye Shannon-Burnett

    Recut and restored twenty-five years after its ill-fated premiere, Charles Burnett’s second feature is an eye-opening revelation—wise, funny, heartbreaking, and timeless. Pierce Mundy w...

  • Suzanne, Suzanne


    Directed by Camille Billops and James Hatch • 1982 • United States

    One of the many films that Camille Billops and James Hatch made centering on Billops’s family, SUZANNE, SUZANNE presents a devastating portrait of the artist’s niece, haunted by the abuse she suffered as a child and the passivity...