We remain committed to sharing contemporary and repertory work from Black filmmakers from around the world and bringing attention to films that might have been overlooked. Our Black Creatives/Black Stories highlights films currently available in our virtual cinema and serves as a space to amplify Black voices, to share their stories and lived experiences.
We’ve also been updating our working list of other films to watch, along with valuable ways to engage in anti-racism learning and support local initiatives in our community.
Nationtime (US, 1973)
Run Time: 80 min. Rating: Not rated
Fully restored in 4K and available in its originally-intended length for the first time in decades! Nationtime is the long-lost film that William Greaves made about the National Black Political Convention of 1972, when 10,000 black politicians, activists and artists went to Gary, Indiana, to forge a national unity platform in advance of the Republican and Democratic presidential conventions. The delegates included a wide array of political thinkers – Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale, Pan-Africanist Amiri Baraka, PUSH founder Jesse Jackson, elected officials Ron Dellums, Charles Diggs, Walter Fauntroy, Richard Hatcher, Carl McCall, plus key women in the fight for racial equality — Coretta Scott King, Betty Shabazz, Fannie Lou Hamer and Queen Mother Moore (who was arguing for reparations). Entertainers Harry Belafonte, Dick Gregory, Isaac Hayes and Richard Roundtree lent their star quality and entertained the crowds. Sidney Poitier & Harry Belafonte narrate the film.
The Watermelon Woman (US, 1996)
Run Time: 90 min. Rating: Not Rated
Re-released for its 20th anniversary in a pristine 2K HD restoration, The Watermelon Woman is the story of Cheryl (Cheryl Dunye), a twenty-something black lesbian struggling to make a documentary about Fae Richards, a beautiful and elusive 1930s black film actress popularly known as “The Watermelon Woman.” While uncovering the meaning of Fae Richards’ life, Cheryl experiences a total upheaval in her personal life. Her love affair with Diana (Guinevere Turner, Go Fish), a beautiful white woman, and her interactions with the gay and black communities, are subject to the comic yet biting criticism of her best friend Tamara (Valerie Walker). Meanwhile, each answer Cheryl discovers about the Watermelon Woman evokes a flurry of new questions about herself and her future.
Mr. Soul! (2020)
Run Time: 90 min. Rating: Not Rated
From 1968 to 1973, the public television variety show SOUL!, guided by the enigmatic producer and host Ellis Haizlip, offered an unfiltered, uncompromising celebration of Black literature, poetry, music, and politics—voices that had few other options for national exposure, and, as a result, found the program an improbable place to call home.
The series was among the first to provide expanded images of African Americans on television, shifting the gaze from inner-city poverty and violence to the vibrancy of the Black Arts Movement. With participants’ recollections and a bevy of great archival clips, Mr. SOUL! captures a critical moment in culture whose impact continues to resonate.
John Lewis: Good Trouble (2020)
The film explores Georgia representative Lewis’ 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health care reform, and immigration.
Immediately following the feature, there will be a pre-recorded discussion between Representative Lewis and Oprah Winfrey, filmed last month and being made available exclusively for virtual cinema and in-theater engagements of the film. This is a wide-ranging, informal, 16-minute conversation that’s a perfect follow-up to the documentary, and could not be more relevant.
Want to make some good trouble? Check out the FREE handbook here.
River City Drumbeat (2020)
For 30 years, the indefatigable Nardie White has offered a path to empowerment for African-American youth in Louisville, KY through his River City Drum Corps. White has dedicated his life to teaching communities about their Pan-African roots, but with retirement approaching, he must train his successor. Set against the backdrop of the American South and featuring glorious drum battles, this uplifting film is a timely reminder of the incredible change one person can create.