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Black Lives Now

Black Lives Now

OVID.tv is proud to present a large selection of films about contemporary Black lives - from documentaries ranging in topics from Harlem's Apollo Theater and performer Okwui Okpokwasili to an allegorical fable by John Akomfrah.

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Black Lives Now
  • When Justice Isn't Just

    Directed by David Massey • Documentary • 2016 • 42 minutes

    Directed by Oscar-nominated and NAACP Image Award winner David Massey, this dynamic documentary explores why so many unarmed black people have been targeted and killed by police officers. The filmmakers talk to legal experts, activists a...

  • STOP

    Directed by Spencer Wolff • Documentary • With David Ourlicht, Michael Bloomberg, Ray Kelly
    • 2014 • 87 minutes

    The feature length documentary STOP follows three years in the life of David Ourlicht, one of the four named plaintiffs in Floyd vs. City of New York. By interweaving the story of Da...

  • Marlon Riggs

    7 items

    “If you’ve never heard of Marlon Riggs, you’ll wonder why the hell not. How could an artist this smart, this prescient, this frank, transparent, curious, ruminative and courageous — this funny — escape your notice? Why haven’t these trenchant, masterful video essays, with insinuatingly tangy name...

  • My Brother's Wedding

    Directed by Charles Burnett • Drama • With Everett Silas, Jessie Holmes, Gaye Shannon-Burnett, Ronnie Bell • 1983 • 86 minutes

    In 1983, after many long months of shooting, Charles Burnett sent his rough-cut of My Brother’s Wedding to his producers. Ignoring his request to finish the editing of t...

  • No Time To Waste

    Directed by Carl Bidleman • Documentary • 2020 • 52 minutes

    NO TIME TO WASTE celebrates legendary 98-year-old park ranger Betty Reid Soskin's inspiring life, work and urgent mission to restore critical missing chapters of America's story. The film follows her journey as an African American woman...

  • 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...

  • Like Any Other Kid

    Directed by Victoria Mills • Documentary • 2020 • 89 minutes

    Something incredible is happening behind the locked doors of the James Ranch in Morgan Hill, California, the Bridge City Center for Youth in Bridge City, Louisiana, and 162nd St. Sheltering Arms, in the Bronx, New York. Caring and comm...

  • 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 ...

  • No Maps on My Taps

    Directed by George Nierenberg • Documentary • With Lionel Hampton, Bunny Briggs, Chuck Green, Howard "Sandman" Sims • 1979 • 59 minutes

    The golden age of tap dancing spanned the first half of the twentieth century, but by the 1950s, the form fell to the likes of rock 'n' roll and modern dance. I...

  • Belly of the Beast

    Directed by Erika Cohn • Documentary • With Kelli Dillon, Cynthia Chandler • 2020 • 82 minutes

    When a courageous young woman and a radical lawyer discover a pattern of illegal sterilizations in California’s women’s prisons, they wage a near-impossible battle against the Department of Corrections...

  • Hidden Heritage: The Roots of Black American Painting

    Directed by Andrew Piddington • Documentary • With David Driskell • 1991 • 52 minutes

    David Driskell, the pathbreaking art history professor and artist, is the focus of HIDDEN HERITAGE: THE ROOTS OF BLACK AMERICAN PAINTING. He made it his life mission to trace the work of Black artists from the ...

  • Delphine's Prayers

    Directed by Rosine Mbakam • Documentary • 2021 • 91 minutes

    Delphine reclines on a daybed in her bright, cluttered apartment in Belgium, an empty crib beside her. “I started to work the streets like crazy,” she says, matter-of-factly recounting her life story. “Selling my body.” Delphine, who is...

  • Killing Time/Fannie's Film

    Directed by Fronza Woods • Documentary • 1979 • 24 minutes

    Part of the mediamaking movement that first gave centrality to the voices and experiences of African American women during the late Seventies and early Eighties, these two re-releases are no less groundbreaking today.

    KILLING TIME is an...

  • Capturing the Flag

    Directed by Anne de Mare • Documentary • 2018 • 76 minutes

    A tight-knit group of friends travel to Cumberland County, North Carolina—the 2016 'posterchild' for voter suppression—intent on proving that the big idea of American democracy can be defended by small acts of individual citizens. What t...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Prism

    Directed by Eléonore Yameogo, An van. Dienderen, and Rosine Mbakam • Documentary • 2021 • 78 minutes

    Is the technology of photography and motion pictures inherently racist?

    For PRISM, Belgian filmmaker An van. Dienderen invited Rosine Mbakam, from Cameroon, and Eléonore Yameogo from Burkina Fas...

  • Quest

    Directed by Jonathan Olshefski • Documentary • 2017 • 105 minutes

    ​Filmed with vérité intimacy for nearly a decade, Quest is the moving portrait of the Rainey family living in North Philadelphia.

    Beginning at the dawn of the Obama presidency, Christopher “Quest” Rainey and his wife Christine’a ...

  • You Got to Move: Stories of Change in the South

    Directed by Lucy Massie Phenix and Veronica Selver • Documentary • With Myles Horton, May Justice, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Bernice Robinson • 1985 • 85 minutes

    Lucy Massie Phenix's You Got to Move: Stories of Change in the South is about individuals who have dared to change the world for the be...

  • An Apollo Legend

    Directed by Brian Storm • Documentary • 2008 • 18 minutes

    Decades before American Idol and America's Got Talent captured the attention of millons on TV, the world renowned Apollo Theater in Harlem started hosting its popular Amateur Night, which launched the careers of Ella Fitzgerald, James Bro...

  • A New Color: The Art of Being Edythe Boone

    Directed by Mo Morris • Documentary • With Edythe Boone • 2018 • 56 minutes

    Long before Black Lives Matter became a rallying cry, Edythe Boone embodied that truth as an artist, an educator, and a great-grandmother. When a personal tragedy ignites a national outcry, everything that Edythe has wor...

  • 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.

  • Street Fighting Men

    Directed by Andrew James • Documentary • With James "Jack Rabbit" Jackson, Deris Solomon, Minister Malik Shabazz, Derionna Watkins, Lorraine Ray • 2020 • 101 minutes

    In a rapidly changing America where mass inequality and dwindling opportunity have devastated the black working class, three men f...

  • Bless Their Little Hearts

    Directed by Billy Woodberry • Drama • With Nate Hardman, Kaycee Moore • 1983 • 80 minutes

    Searching for steady work, Charlie (Nate Hardman) views his chronic unemployment as a kind of spiritual trial. But selling a few catfish can’t sustain a family of five while his wife, Andais (Kaycee Moore)...