Black Lives, Black Stories

Black Lives, Black Stories

UNLADYLIKE2020
UNLADYLIKE2020
Illuminating the stories of extraordinary American heroines from the early years of feminism, Unladylike2020 is an essential series consisting of 26 episodes, between 9 and 12 minutes in length, that profile courageous, little-known and diverse female trailblazers. The series utilizes original artwork and animation, rare archival footage, and interviews with descendants, historians and accomplished modern women who reflect upon the influence of these pioneers.
IWOW: I WALK ON WATER
IWOW: I WALK ON WATER

Since 2011, filmmaker and photographer Khalik Allah (Black Mother) has attracted global attention for his radiant portraits of the denizens of 125th and Lexington in East Harlem. In IWOW: I Walk On Water, Allah returns to the intersection as the foundation to explore personal narratives of intimacy, voice, memory, identity and personal transformation. This visually extraordinary, intimate epic is a contemporary rethinking of the diary film: Gordon Parks meets Jonas Mekas.

SHAKEDOWN
SHAKEDOWN
An essential documentary, Shakedown is the story of Los Angeles’ black lesbian strip club scene and its genesis. It's focus is the club Shakedown, owned and operated by women, underground and illegal in nature. Created from over 400 hours of footage that filmmaker Leilah Weinraub has been collecting for the past 15 years, the film incorporates live tapes, performances, backstage videos, archival material, flyers, and interviews. Shakedown is a window into this world.
BLUE NOTE RECORDS: Beyond the Notes
BLUE NOTE RECORDS: Beyond the Notes
One of the most important record labels in the history of jazz — and, by extension, that of American music — Blue Note Records has been home to such groundbreaking artists as Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, and Art Blakey. Through rare archival footage, current recording sessions and conversations with jazz icons and today’s groundbreaking musicians, this thrilling documentary reveals a powerful mission and illuminates the vital connections between jazz and hip hop.

LIFE AND NOTHING MORE
LIFE AND NOTHING MORE
Winner of the Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award, Antonio Méndez Esparza's (Aquí y allá) powerful second feature presents another sensitive portrait of a struggling family - a single mother raising her two children when her 14-year-old son has a brush with the law. Life and Nothing More employs documentary-style realism in this snapshot of race, class and the bonds of family in contemporary America.
BLACK MOTHER
BLACK MOTHER
A visionary filmmaker and photographer, Khalik Allah exploded onto the scene with Field Niggas (2015), a grassroots production which went from a YouTube upload to a sensation on the festival circuit. In his celebrated follow-up, Black Mother, Allah brings us on a spiritual journey through Jamaica, the land of his mother's birth, informed by the island's turbulent history yet existing in the urgent present.
TRIPLE CONSCIOUSNESS: Films by Akosua Adoma Owusu
TRIPLE CONSCIOUSNESS: Films by Akosua Adoma Owusu
Akosua Adoma Owusu is a Ghanaian-American filmmaker, producer and cinematographer whose award-winning work addresses the collision of identities, and themes such as feminism, queerness and African immigrants interacting in African, white American, and black American culture. This edition presents thirteen of her short films.
DID YOU WONDER WHO FIRED THE GUN?
DID YOU WONDER WHO FIRED THE GUN?
“In 1946, my great-grandfather murdered a black man named Bill Spann and got away with it.” So begins this acclaimed documentary which takes us on a journey through the American South – interweaving scenes from To Kill a Mockingbird and Rosa Parks’ investigation into the Recy Taylor case – to uncover the truth behind a horrific incident and the societal mores that empowered it.
AND WHEN I DIE, I WON'T STAY DEAD
AND WHEN I DIE, I WON'T STAY DEAD
Embodying the spirit of his poems, the new film from Billy Woodberry, director of Bless Their Little Hearts, is a vivid appreciation of Bob Kaufman, the legendary Beat figure, featuring interviews with his contemporaries, readings, rare photos and footage, and a soundtrack with the likes of Billie Holiday and Ornette Coleman.
BRONX GOTHIC
BRONX GOTHIC
From director Andrew Rossi (Page One: Inside the New York Times, Ivory Tower) comes an electrifying portrait of writer and performer Okwui Okpokwasili and her acclaimed one-woman show "Bronx Gothic," a story about two 12-year-old black girls coming of age in the 1980s.
NIGHT SCHOOL
NIGHT SCHOOL
Emmy-winning director Andrew Cohn’s absorbing documentary observes the individual pursuits of four adult learners seeking a high school diploma, fraught with the challenges of daily life and the broader systemic roadblocks faced by many low income Americans.
MILWAUKEE 53206
MILWAUKEE 53206
MILWAUKEE 53206 is America’s most incarcerated zip code; 62% of adult males in this mostly African-American community have spent time in a correctional facility. This urgent documentary examines how decades of poverty, unemployment, and a lack of opportunity has contributed to the crisis of mass incarceration in this and other communities across the nation.
JUKE
JUKE
A remarkable record of black life in the 1940s, as found in the films of Spencer Williams, the pioneering African American filmmaker. A new essay by Thom Andersen, director of Los Angeles Plays Itself.
SAPPHIRE OF ST. LOUIS
SAPPHIRE OF ST. LOUIS
In this wondrous documentary, celebrated filmmaker Jose Luis Guerin peers inside an 18th century painting hidden away in a French cathedral to vividly recount a little-known, but pivotal slave revolt on the high seas.
LAST DAY OF FREEDOM
LAST DAY OF FREEDOM
2016 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Short Subject, an extraordinary, animated documentary exploring some of the most pressing social issues of our day - racial bias, veteran’s care, mental health and criminal justice.