Black Lives

  • Black is... Black Ain't

    Directed by Marlon Riggs • Documentary • 1995 • 87 minutes

    Having grappled with the stereotypes imposed upon black people by white America, Riggs turned his attention to another fraught issue: the definitions of “blackness” that African-Americans impose on each other. Weaving together poetry, co...

  • The Last Angel of History

    Directed by John Akomfrah • Documentary • 1996 • 45 minutes

    John Akomfrah, director of Seven Songs of Malcolm X, returns with an engaging and searing examination of the hitherto unexplored relationships between Pan-African culture, science fiction, intergalactic travel, and rapidly progressing c...

  • 12 O'Clock Boys

    Directed by Lofty Nathan • Documentary • 2013 • 76 minutes

    The 12 O'CLOCK BOYS are a notorious urban dirt bike pack in Baltimore -- popping wheelies and weaving at excessive speeds through traffic, the group impressively evades the hamstrung police. In Lotfy Nathan's wild, dynamic documentary (t...

  • Let the Fire Burn

    Directed by Jason Osder • Documentary • 2013 • 95 minutes

    In the astonishingly gripping Let the Fire Burn, director Jason Osder has crafted that rarest of cinematic objects: a found-footage film that unfurls with the tension of a great thriller. On May 13, 1985, a longtime feud between the city ...

  • Anthem

    Directed by Marlon Riggs • Documentary • 1991 • 8 minutes

    Marlon Riggs' experimental music video politicizes the homoeroticism of African-American men. With images—sensual, sexual, and defiant—and words intended to provoke, Anthem reasserts the self-evident right to life and liberty in an era of...

  • Frantz Fanon: Black Skin White Mask

    Directed by Isaac Julien, Mark Nash • Drama • With Colin Salmon, Halima Daoud, Noirin Ni Dubhgaill, Stuart Hall, Françoise Verges • 1995 • 72 minutes

    FRANTZ FANON: BLACK SKIN, WHITE MASK explores for the first time on film the pre-eminent theorist of the anti-colonial movements of this century. ...

  • Bronx Gothic

    Directed by Andrew Rossi • Documentary • With Okwui Okpokwasili • 2017 • 91 minutes

    From director Andrew Rossi (Page One: Inside the New York Times, The First Monday in May) comes an electrifying portrait of writer and performer Okwui Okpokwasili and her acclaimed one-woman show, Bronx Gothic. R...

  • Affirmations

    Directed by Marlon Riggs • Documentary • 1990 • 10 minutes

    An exploration of Black gay male desires and dreams. Affirmations starts with an affectionate, humorous confessional and moves on to a wish for empowerment and incorporation.

  • Ethnic Notions

    Directed by Marlon Riggs • Documentary • 1986 • 58 minutes

    Unflinching, unsettling, and essential, this Emmy-winning documentary examines the devastating legacy of black stereotypes throughout American history, from the slavery era to the present. Drawing on a wide variety of media—from minstrel...

  • South

    Directed by Chantal Akerman • Documentary • 1999 • 70 minutes

    Inspired by her love of William Faulkner and James Baldwin, renowned director Chantal Akerman had planned to produce a meditation on the American South. However, just days before she was to begin filming, James Byrd, Jr. was murdered ...

  • How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (And Enjoy It!)

    Directed by Joe Angio • Documentary • With Spike Lee
    Mario Van Peebles
    St. Clair Bourne
    Gil Scott-Heron • 2005 • 85 minutes

    Melvin van Peebles’ remarkable life story reveals an artist and a man whose groundbreaking impact on film, politics and pop culture remains, forty-five years after the rele...

  • Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien

    Directed by Marlon Riggs • Documentary • 1992 • 38 minutes

    Through music, poetry and quiet, at times, chilling self-disclosure, five positive black gay men speak of their individual confrontation with AIDS, illuminating the difficult journey black men throughout America have made in coping with ...

  • Tongues Untied

    Directed by Marlon Riggs • Documentary • 1989 • 55 minutes

    The seminal documentary on Black gay life, Emmy Award-winning director Marlon T. Riggs’ 1989 Tongues Untied uses poetry, personal testimony, rap and performance (featuring poet Essex Hemphill and others), to describe the homophobia and r...

  • Seven Songs for Malcolm X

    Directed by John Akomfrah • Documentary • 1993 • 52 minutes

    An homage to the inspirational African-American civil rights leader, SEVEN SONGS FOR MALCOLM X collects testimonies, eyewitness accounts and dramatic reenactments to tell the life, legacy, loves, and losses of Malcolm X.

    Featuring inte...

  • Color Adjustment

    Directed by Marlon Riggs • Documentary • 1991 • 88 minutes

    An essential companion to Ethnic Notions, Color Adjustment explores black representation in the age of primetime television. Deconstructing cultural touchstones from Amos ’n’ Andy to The Jeffersons to The Cosby Show, this cogent and prov...

  • Black Is the Color: A History of African American Art

    Directed by Jacques Goldstein • Documentary • 2017 • 52 minutes

    In 1969, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York mounted a major exhibit called “Harlem On My Mind.” There was just one thing wrong: the show had no work by African-American artists.

    The “Harlem on My Mind” fiasco is emblematic ...

  • They Are We

    Directed by Emma Christopher, Ph.D. • Documentary • 2014 • 79 minutes

    THEY ARE WE is the story of a remarkable reunion, 170 or so years after a family was driven apart by the ravages of the transatlantic slave trade. In Central Cuba, proud members of the Ganga-Longoba, a small Afro-Cuban ethnic ...

  • Through A Lens Darkly

    Directed by Thomas Allen Harris • Documentary • 2014 • 92 minutes

    The first documentary to explore the American family photo album through the eyes of black photographers, Through a Lens Darkly probes the recesses of American history to discover images that have been suppressed, forgotten and lo...

  • Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed

    Directed by Shola Lynch • Documentary • With Shirley Chisholm, Amiri Baraka, Octavia Butler, Bobby Seale • 2004 • 77 minutes

    Recalling a watershed event in US politics, this compelling documentary takes an in-depth look at the 1972 presidential campaign of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman...

  • I Am Somebody

    Directed by Madeline Anderson • Documentary • 1970 • 30 minutes

    In 1969, black female hospital workers in Charleston, South Carolina went on strike for union recognition and a wage increase, only to find themselves in a confrontation with the state government and the National Guard. Featuring An...

  • Love & Diane

    Directed by Jennifer Dworkin • Documentary • 2003 • 155 minutes

    Jennifer Dworkin’s groundbreaking documentary LOVE & DIANE presents a searingly honest and moving examination of poverty, welfare and drug rehabilitation in the United States today. Filmed in New York City over a five-year period, D...

  • Early Works of Cheryl Dunye

    Directed by Cheryl Dunye • Documentary • With Cheryl Dunye, Zoie Strauss, Paula Cronan, Wanda Freeman, Shu Leah Cheang, • 1994 • 80 minutes

    Vilified by conservatives in Congress, defended by major newspapers, and celebrated by audiences and festivals around the world as one of the most provocati...

  • Natural Life

    Directed by Tirtza Even • Documentary • With Lakim Carney, Chrissy Garcia, Faizan Hasnain • 2016 • 77 minutes

    "Natural Life" is a feature length experimental documentary challenging inequities in the U.S. juvenile justice system by depicting, through documentation and reenactment, the stories of...

  • A Good Man

    Directed by Bob Hercules,Gordon Quinn • Documentary • With Nana Amoah,
    Bill T. Jones,
    Lindsay Jones • 2011 • 86 minutes

    A Good Man follows acclaimed director/choreographer Bill T. Jones (Last Supper at Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Still/Here, FELA!) as he and his company create their most ambitious work, ...