Black is... Black Ain't
Marlon Riggs • 1h 27m
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, commentary from scholars like Angela Davis and bell hooks, and direct address from Riggs (filmed from his hospital bed, dying of AIDS), Black Is…Black Ain’t powerfully confronts sexism, homophobia, and colorism as it makes a moving call for communion among black Americans.
"Like Marlon himself, Black Is...Black Ain't is brilliant, thoughtful, undaunted by anticipated criticism, and profoundly salutary to our health. It's a powerful, interesting, riveting film." —Alice Walker
"A dense, sizzling, stimulating gumbo of thought and emotion...A fascinating, challenging film." —San Francisco Chronicle
Up Next in Marlon Riggs
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...
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...
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 ...