Films by Title: "A"
Listed by title followed by year of release, annotation, genre, running time, format, and director
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
A. Philip Randolph: For Jobs and Freedom (1988) - This biographical documentary chronicles the work of legendary labor union leader A. Philip Randolph and his commitment to the struggle to gain African American civil rights in the United States. Documentary, 86 min., DVD, dir: Dante James.
Aaron Loves Angela (1975) - A take on Romeo and Juliet/West Side Story set in 1970s Harlem. A black man (Kevin Hooks) falls in love with a Puerto Rican woman (an early performance by singer Irene Cara), but both of their families disapprove. Drama, 99 min, DVD, dir: Gordon Parks, Jr.
ABC Africa (2001) - Documentary account of the AIDS crisis in Uganda. Abbas Kiarostami and his assistant, Seifollah Samadian, travel to Kampala, Uganda, at the request of the UN's International Fund for Agricultural Development. For ten days, their camera captures the faces of a thousand children - all orphans - whose parents have died of AIDS. Documentary, 83 min., DVD, dir: Abbas Kiarostami.
Abby (1974) - A possession film about a marriage counselor who becomes possessed by a demon of sexuality, after her father-in-law, an exorcist, frees it while in Africa. He returns home along with his son and a policeman to perform an African exorcism on her. Horror, 89 min., DVD, dir: William Girdler.
Abolição (1988) - A look at the racial situation of Black Brazilians. On the 100th anniversity of the abolition of slavery in Brazil, the director asks the subjects what the abolition of slavery means to their lives. Documentary, 150 min., DVD, dir: Sozimo Bulbul.
Abolitionists, The (2013) - Bringing to life the intertwined stories of Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Angelina Grimké, Harriet Beecher Stowe and John Brown, The Abolitionists takes place during some of the most violent and contentious decades in American history, amid religious passions and bitter debates over the meaning of the Constitution and the nature of race. Documentary, 180 min., DVD, dir: Rob Rapley
Absolutely Positive (1991) - This film interviews eleven different people living with AIDS and tells their stories. Documentary, 88 min., DVD, dir: Peter Adair.
Abyss Boys, The (2009) - Set in the slums of a small fishing community on the southern coast of South Africa, the drowning depths of illegal abalone poaching has become a dangerous life that Jimmy, a legendary ex-diver, has to escape from. Wanting to save AB, his rebellious young brother from Gonyama and a violent gangster, Jimmy devises a plan to give himself and AB a new life. But on the winter day that Jimmy gets his chance to escape, nothing has prepared him for what happens next. Drama, 26 min., DVD, dir: Jan-Hendrik Beetge.
Accroche-toi! (Hang in There!) (2009) - Film by director from Burkina Faso and Gabon on HIV.Documentary, 52 min., DVD, Pauline Mvele.
Across 110th Street (1972) - Struggling to survive in the Harlem ghetto, a few men mastermind the robbary of a Mafia 'bank' and become tragically caught between the police and the gangsters. Drama, 101 min., DVD, dir: Barry Shear.
Action Jackson (1988) - Detroit police sergeant Jericho "Action" Jackson (Carl Weathers) has to outwit a vicious auto tycoon (Craig T. Nelson), which he eventually does after much bloodshed and muscle display. He also ends up with beautiful damsel-in-distress Sydney Ash (Vanity). Action, 96 min., VHS, Blu-Ray, dir: Craig R. Baxley.
Action Sports Adventure (1995) - This demo tape is a montage of professional, archival, olympic, and extreme sports footage compiled by the Sports Footage Library and Production. Documentary, 11 min., VHS, dir: n/a.
Adanggaman (2000) - King Adanggaman leads a war in 17th century West Africa against his neighboring tribes and orders his soldiers to torch enemy villages, kill the elderly, and capture healthy men to sell to the European slave traders. Drama, 85 min., DVD, dir: Roger Gnoan M'Bala.
Addio zio Tom (Goodbye Uncle Tom) (1971) - Italian exploitation "shockumentary" based around the slave trade. Drama, 136 min., DVD, dir: Gualtiero Jacopetti & Franco Prosperi.
Adonise Four (n.d.) - A soldier, "Adonise Four," is surrounded by enemies in urban combat. He is taken prisoner. Another soldier writes about losing friends in his diary. Drama, 5 min., DVD, dir: Souheil Helou.
Adjust Your Color (2008) - Documentary about Washington D.C. "shock-jock" Ralph "Petey" Greene. Documentary, 60 min., DVD, dir: Loren Mendell.
Adventures of Juan Quin Quin, The (1967) - Juan Quin Quin, a poor farmer, works various jobs to support himself until he joins the Cuban Revolution. The films captures his story of metamorphosis from a nobody to a guerrilla fighter. Comedy, 104 min., DVD, dir: Julio Garcia Espinosa
Adwa: An African Victory (1999) - Ethiopian-born director Haile Gerima focuses on Ethiopia's victory over a European colonial power at the battle of Adwa in 1896. Led by Emperor Menelik and Empress Taitu, Ethiopia defeats Italy's advanced and powerful regime, armed only with lances and spears. Documentary, 96 min., DVD, dir: Haile Gerima.
Aerobics with Soul, Kilimanjaro (1995) - This workout video is hosted by fitness expert Maria Nhambu Bergh and includes exercise routines inspired by traditional African dances against the backdrop of Tanzania's Tarangire National Park. Miscellaneous, 80 min., VHS, dir: Terry Smith.
Affairs of the Political Heart (1985) - This is a story about a couple that is engaged to be married in Athens who goes through difficulties as the man chooses to join a political party. Drama, 26 min., VHS, dir: Donna Mungen.
Affirmations (1990) - Film affirming the homosexual/black community as a vital part of society. While marching, many black gay men confront hatred and stand together. Documentary, 10 min., VHS, dir: Marlon Riggs.
Africa: A New Look (1969) - View of Africa in the 1960s. The film shows primary schools and universities, commercial and family farms, religious services, health clinics, large and small businesses, a television studio, and political rallies; it gives glimpses of life in the cities as well as towns and villages. Includes footage shot in 1980 and 1981. Documentary, 27 min., VHS, dir: Sam Bryan.
Africa Blood & Guts (1966) - Exploitation "shockumentary" set in post-Colonial Africa. Documentary, 140 min., DVD, dir: Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi.
Africa Dreaming (1997) - First all-African media project in which South Africa plays a leading role. Includes six programs about love from South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Senegal, and Tunisia - each by a different director:
- Sophia's Homecoming: Due to economical reasons, Sophia (Sophia Matros) has been away from her country and family for many years. When she returns, she finds out that her place in the family has been taken over by her younger sister, who she had left behind to care for her children. Dir: Richard Pakleppa.
- So Be It [aka Ainsi soit-il]: The film is based on the play Un Sang Fort by Wolé Soyinka and narrates about the fears of two lovers in a Senegalese village on New Year's Eve. The visual and verbal imagery suggests the conflict between the modern and the traditional. The film is part three of the TV mini-series Africa Dreaming. Dir: Joseph Gaï Ramaka. [The BFC/A also has a DVD of this film in French with no subtitles; see "Ainsi soit-il"]
- Mamlambo: An adolescent, who is living on the streets of Hillbrow, tells Mamlambo ghost stories to bystanders. Mamlambo are strange half-human spirits who have the ability to alter their physical form, which aids in hunting unknowing human victims. Dir: Palesa Letlaka-Nkosi.
- The Gaze of the Stars: Salomão (Joao Manja), an owner of a bar in Maputo, Mozambique, takes care of his nephew, Betinho (Tobias Sigauque), a war orphan. Salomão was left by Julia (Hortenncia Tivane) because he did not allow her to study or work out of the house, so she married his neighbor, Saide (Luis Santos). Salomão can hear how Saide every day beats Julia and when decides to help her, it turns out that she is long gone, whereas Saide protects his man’s pride by pretending to beat his wife. From South Africa. Dir: João Ribeiro.
- Sabriya: The Tunisian Sabriya tells about two friends, Said (Nabil Chahed) and Youssef (Chawki Bouglia), whose traditional male values crumble when Sarah (Rim Turkhi), a liberated contemporary woman, rushes into their lives and urges them to act as modern men. Dir: Abderrahmane Sissako.
- The Last Picture: Taguma is a young photographer obsessed with the image of a woman that he has invented in his fantasies, and whose pictures decorate his studio. Dir: Farai Sevenzo.
Drama, 26 min. each, VHS.
Africa First, Volume One - Includes Abyss Boys (2009), dir: Jan-Hendrik Beetge; The Pumzi (2009), dir: Wanuri Kahiu; St. Louis Blues (2009), dir: Dyana Gaye; Tunnel, The (2010), dir: Jenna Cato Bass; DVD.
Africa in the Holy Land (1994) - Created by a television station crew at Howard University, this documentary short investigates the presence of Africans in the Holy Land throughout history, including Ethiopian Jews, Black Hebrew Israelites, and African Muslims. Documentary, 26 min., DVD, dir: N/A.
Africa Is a Woman's Name (2009) - A story told by three African Women from Kenya, South Africa, and Zimbabwe about their perspectives on gender and empowerment. Documentary, 52 min., DVD, dir: Bridget Pickering, Wanjiru Kinyanjui, and Ingrid Sinclair.
Africa Rising (2009) - A documentary about female genital mutilation. This film seeks to bring awareness to and the end of a 5,000-year-old practice. Documentary, 62 min., DVD, dir: Paula Heredia.
Africa to America to Paris: The Migration of Black Writers (1998) - A film following African American literature from the U.S. to Paris at the end of World War II. The film mostly follows James Baldwin, Richard Wright, and Chester Himes, all writers who migrated to Paris. Documentary, 53 min., VHS, dir: Jacques Goldstein and Blaise n'Djehoya.
Africa Squeaks (1931) - Children, 8 min., VHS, dir: U. B. Iwerks.
Africa Squeaks (1940) - Comedy, 8 min., DVD, dir: Robert Clampett.
Africa Unite: A Celebration of Bob Marley's Vision (2008) - This documentary is about the family of Bob Marley and their first trip to Ethiopia in 2005 to attend the annual Africa Unite concert. Includes several bonus features including interviews with the Marley brothers and archival footage of Bob Marley in New York, circa 1980. Documentary, 89 min., DVD, dir: Stephanie Black.
African American Lives (2006) - This 4-part PBS series attempts to trace the roots of eight guests using genealogy, oral history, family stories, and DNA analysis. Hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Interviewees include neurosurgeon Ben Carson, actress Whoopi Goldberg, Bishop T.D. Jakes, astronaut Mae Jemison, musician/producer Quincy Jones, sociologist Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, comedian/actor Chris Tucker, TV pioneer/philanthropist Oprah Winfrey. Documentary, 240 min., DVD, dir: Graham Judd.
African American Lives 2 (2008) - The second part of the PBS series that attempts to trace the roots of eleven guests using genealogy, oral history, family stories, and DNA analysis. Hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Interviewees include Maya Angelou, Bliss Broyard, Don Cheadle, Morgan Freeman, Peter Gomes, Kathleen Henderson, Linda Johnson Rice, Tom Joyner, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Chris Rock, and Tina Turner. Documentary, 240 min., DVD, dir: Graham Judd.
African Footprint (2007) - Performance and documentary that celebrates the culture, history, and the people of South Africa. Musical, 140 min., DVD, dir: N/A.
African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., The (2013) - Explore with Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the evolution of the African-American people, as well as the multiplicity of cultural institutions, political strategies, and religious and social perspectives they developed forging their own history, culture, and society against unimaginable odds. Documentary, 360 min., DVD, dir: Sabin Streeter.
African Underground: Democracy in Dakar (2009) - Film following rappers, DJs, journalists, professors, and people on the street before and after the 2007 presidential election in Senegal, which had a controversial outcome. Documentary, 69 min., DVD, dir: Ben Herson, Magee McIlvaine, and Christopher Moore.
- The Terrible Transformation, 1450-1750: Part one of the Africans in America series examines the origins of slavery, one of the largest forces human migrations in recorded history. After the arrival of the first Africans in Virginia in 1619, the British colonies laid the groundwork for an economic system of racial slavery to generate profits to ensure the new colonies' growth and survival.
- Revolution, 1750-1805: Part two of the Africans in America series shows the American colonies challenge to Britain for independence, opposition to the American slavery system from within, and the Constitution's codification of slavery and oppression as a national way of life.
- Brotherly Love, 1791-1831: Part three of the Africans in America series explores the first fifty years of the newly formed nation, highlighting the presence and contributions of peoples of African descent in Philadelphia, the invention of the cotton gin, and the revolutions in Haiti that inspired many of the slave rebellions throughout the southern states.
- Judgment Day, 1831-1865: Part four of the
Africans in America series highlights the nation's westward expansion,
and the debate over keeping or abolishing slavery as in institution and
the abolitionists struggle to eradicate slavery.
Documentary, 86 min. each, VHS, dir: Orlando Bagwell.
Afrique, je te plumeria (1992) - A film that examines the legacies and implications of Cameroon's colonial history. Documentary, 88 min., DVD, dir: Jean-Marie Teno.
Afrocentricity - (2000) - Includes true., dir: Charles Stone III; Breakdown, dir: Jeff Byrd; A Gut Feeling, dir: Lee Davis; Breakfast at Ben's, dir: Chuck Wilson; Kings, dir: Niva Dorell; Hip Hop: The New World Order, dir: Muhammida El Muhajir; The Gift, dir: Tanya Boyd. DVD.
Afro@Digital (2003) - Balufu Bakupa-Kayinda directs this documentary on the digital revolution in Africa. The film asserts that "statistics show that Africa is well behind the rest of the world in terms of information technologies," but the numbers fail to show the original ways Africans are using the little that is available. Documentary, 52 min., DVD, dir: Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda.
Afro Promo: Black Cinema Trailers, 1946-1976 (2006) - This DVD is a collection of black film trailers from 1946-1976, including such films as A Raisin in the Sun (1961), Putney Swope (1969), and Foxy Brown (1974). Documentary, 91 min., DVD, dir: Karl Knapper and Jenni Olson.
Afro-Punk (2003) - This film explores the lives of four African-Americans: Tamar Kali, Matt Davis, Moe Mitchell, and Mariko Jones, and the challenges they face as punk rock musicians in an industry overwhelmingly controlled by whites. Documentary, 67 min., DVD, dir: James Spooner.
Against the Odds: The Artists of the Harlem Renaissance (1993) - During the 1920s and 30s, African American artists flourished, but patent racial prejudice kept them out of mainstream museums and galleries and threatened their personal artistic expression. Included are original works and footage of the artists of the Harlem Renaissance. Documentary, 57 min., VHS, dir: Amber Edwards.
Aggressives, The (2005) - This film explores the daily life of African American lesbians who are involved in drag balls around the New York area. Documentary, 73 min., DVD, dir: Daniel Peddle.
Agronomist, The (2003) - Visualizing the love of country and democracy, this documentary about radio journalist Jean Dominique chronicles the fight against the oppressive Duvalier regime in Haiti. Because of Dominique's assassination in 2000, director Jonathan Demme, as a tribute, collected over two decades worth of material to document his life and commitment. Documentary, 91 min., DVD, dir: Jonathan Demme.
Aimé Césaire: une voix pour l'histoire (1994) - This is a three-part biography of the Martinican writer and politician Aimé Césaire who coined the term "negritude" and launched the literary movement called the "Great Black Cry." He is portrayed in the context of some of the most notable artistic and intellectual figures from the 1930s to the 1990s. The three parts are: "L'ile veilleuse" [The Vigilant Island]; "Au rendez-vous de la conquête" [Where the Edges of Conquest Meet]; and "La force de regarder demain" [The Strength to Face Tomorrow]. Documentary, 54/56/50 min., VHS (3 tapes), dir: Euzhan Palcy.
Ainsi meurent les anges (And so Angels Die) (2001) - Mory, a troubled Senegalese poet living outside Paris with his French wife and their children, returns penniless to Senegal. Senegalese director Moussa Sene Absa shows the complex interplay of history and psychology in contemporary Africa. Drama, 56 min., DVD, dir: Moussa Sene Absa.
Ain't Misbehavin' (1982) - Filmed theatrical production of the Fats Waller musical. Musical, 97 min., 16mm, dir: Don Mischer.
Ainsi soit-il (1997) - See Africa Dreaming: So Be It. Drama, 32 min., DVD, dir: Joseph Gaï Ramaka.
Airmen and Adversity (1998) - This documentary film focusing on the Tuskegee Airmen was produced by Charlotte, North Carolina's Steve Crump. The film was among an array of Crump's films honored and showcased between 1998 and 2000 during the Black Filmworks Festival of Film and Video at the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in Oakland, California. Documentary, 60 min., VHS, dir: Steve Crump.
Akeelah and the Bee (2006) - Akeelah Anderson (Keke Palmer) unwittingly unites her south Los Angeles neighborhood in her daring quest to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Also starring Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett. Family, DVD, 112 min., dir: Doug Atchison.
Alabama's Ghost (1973) - Nightclub janitor discovers a secret room, finds old magician's belongings, tries on the costumes and becomes "Alabama, King of the Cosmos." Horror, 96 min., DVD, dir: Fredric Hobbs.
Aladdin and the Magic Lamp (1936) - This George Pal Puppetoon tells the story of Aladdin and his discovery of the magic lamp. Children, 5 min., VHS, dir: George Pal.
Alamo, The (1960) - John Wayne plays Davy Crockett and Richard Widmark is Jim Bowie in this epic dramatization of the defense of a mission in San Antonio, Texas. Jester Hairston plays a slave freed by Bowie and urged to flee north who decides to stay and help the Texans. Western, 161 min., VHS, dir: John Wayne.
Aleijadinho: Passion, Glory and Torment (2001) - The film is a portrait of the 18th century artist Antonio Francisco Lisboa (played by Mauricio Gonçalves), also know as Alijadinho and born the son of a slave. Stories about his life, career, and struggles with disease and mental illness are told in flashbacks through a professor’s investigation that was conducted several years after his death. Drama, 100 min., DVD, dir: Geraldo Santos Pereira.
Alex's Wedding (2002) - A brief documentary capturing an afternoon in which the lives of three people change dramatically. Alex is a married man who is taking another wife. According to tradition, his first wife Elise must accompany him to the new in-law's home as Alex brings the new bride back to his home. Documentary, 45 min., DVD, dir: Jean-Marie Teno.
Ali (2001) - Over 100 million dollars was spent in the making of this biographical film focusing on the life of boxing great Muhammad Ali, played by Will Smith. Some events highlighted in the film are his conversion to Islam, his refusal to serve in the Vietnam War, and his legendary bout with George Foreman in Zaire. Also starring in the film are: Jada Pinkett-Smith, Charles Shufford, Mario Van Peebles, LeVar Burton, and Jamie Foxx. Drama, 157 min., DVD, dir: Michael Mann.
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Angst essen Seele auf) (1974) - Emmi, a woman truly in the second half of life, falls in love with Ali, a Berber guest worker more than ten years younger. When they both decide to marry, everybody seems to be against them. When the folks calm down a bit, Emmi and Ali get deeply unsure about their relationship. Drama, 94 min., DVD, dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder.
Ali v. Shavers Boxing Fight (1977) - Footage of Muhammad Ali's boxing match with Earnie Shavers on September 29, 1977. Documentary, 18 min., 16mm, dir: n/a.
Ali-Baba Bound (1940) - On Cartoon Collection III. Children, 7 min., VHS, dir: Robert Clampett.
Alice Walker: A Conversation with Alice Walker (1992) - Walker discusses her life, from her childhood as a sharecropper in the rural South to her career as a writer. Documentary, 30 min., VHS, dir: Matteo Bellinelli.
All about the Benjamins (2002) - Bounty hunter Bucum Jackson (Ice Cube) teams with the small-time con artist, Reggie Wright (Mike Epps), that he is pursuing, in an attempt to locate a missing stash of diamonds and a lottery ticket worth millions of dollars. Bucum and Reggie find themselves in a race to the finish as they embark on an unlikely partnership that should -- when all is said and done -- prove beneficial to them both. Action, comedy, crime, 95 min., DVD, dir: Kevin Bray.
All American Newsreel, 1 (1956) - William Alexander narrates this documentary about Joyce McLinton, Cotton Queen from Arkansas A&M; the Harlem Nursing Staff; National Affairs in the nation's capital; the Police Athletic League; and military training at Howard University. Documentary, 5 min., 35mm, VHS, dir: William Alexander.
All American Newsreel, 2 (1956) - Narrated by William Alexander, this documentary focuses on National Affairs in the nation's capital, the Chicago Defender; Joyce McClinton, winner of the Cotton Queen from Arkansas A&M; Sports; and the Black Church. Documentary, 5 min., 35mm, VHS, dir: William Alexander.
All American Newsreel; By-line Newsreel (1956) - Documentary, 37 min., VHS, dir: William Alexander.
All Black Musical Comedy (n.d.) - A group of black men sing "You Are the Girl of My Dreams" in this short film. Musical, 7 min., 16mm, dir: n/a.
All on a Mardi Gras Day (2003) - The history and tradition of the celebration of Carnival, or Mardi Gras, within the black community of New Orleans is explored in this documentary. Documentary, 57 min., DVD, dir: Royce Osborn.
All or Nothing (2001) - Tyrone Gibson plays a rapper striving to become the next "ghetto superstar" in this urban drama that won the Jury Award at the Hollywood Black Film Festival. Drama, 88 min., DVD, dir: Adisa Jones.
All this and Rabbit Stew (1941) - Stepin-Fetchit-like character is out rabbit hunting, but is outwitted by Bugs Bunny. Bugs even out-shoots him at craps, ending up with his gun, clothes, etc. Comedy, 7 min., 8mm, DVD, dir: Tex Avery.
Allah Tantou (God's Will) (1991) - Filmmaker David Achkar resconstucts the life of his father, Marof Achkar. Marof Achkar, Guinea's U.N. ambassador and an international spokesperson for African causes, was imprisioned and secretly exectuted in 1971. His family was unaware of his unlimate fate until 1984. The documentary seeks to put a personal face on the human right's abuses happening on the African continent. Drama, 62 min., DVD, dir: David Achkar.
Alma's Rainbow (1993) - Alma Gold (Kim Weston-Moran) is the owner of a popular beauty parlor. Her daughter Rainbow (Victoria Gabrielle Platt) is struggling to find her own identity and deal with her awakening sexuality. Alma and her sister, Ruby (Mizan Nunes), a free-spirited chanteuse, present the alternatives which Rainbow must come to terms with in order to find her own way. Ronald Gray is director of photography. Drama, 85 min., VHS, dir: Ayoka Chenzira.
Almos' a Man (1976) - This is a story of a sixteen year old black boy, Dave (LaVar Burton), trying to prove his manhood in the South during the 1930s. Essie (Madge Sinclair) is Dave's overworked mother who allows Dave to have a gun and is forced to pay the consequences when Dave accidentally shoots a white landowner's mule. Bob (Robert Duquoi) is Dave's strict father. Robin Reed is Dave's little brother, Booker. Christopher Reed is a field boss and Roy Andrews is a field hand. Drama, 39 min., 16mm, dir: Stan Lathan.
Almost Brothers (2004) - The strange friendship between two men of opposite social classes. Miguel is a senator. His childhood friend Jorge is a major drug-dealer. In the 1970s, they meet in prison: Miguel was there for political reasons, and Jorge, as a common criminal. Drama, 102 min., DVD, dir: Lucia Murat.
Always for Pleasure (1978) looks at the spirit and social traditions of New Orleans including celebrations such as Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day. The film includes music by Professor Longhair, The Wild Tchoupitoulas, The Neville Brothers, Allen Toussaint, and more. Documentary, 58 min., VHS, dir: Les Blank.
Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned (1998) - Based on a Walter Mosley novel, Luvia (Cicely Tyson) runs a home for the elderly in this drama involving inner-city life on the streets of South Central, Los Angeles. Socrates Fortlaw (Laurence Fishburne) is the modern-day philosopher who tries to protect the local neighborhood from gang members and drug dealers. Drama, 108 min., DVD, dir: Michael Apted.
Am I Black Enough for You? (2009) tells the story of artist Billy Paul, the city of Philadelphia, and the lifelong companionship between Billy and his wife Blanche. It's a film about love, marriage, and life's complications. The film follows the story of Billy Paul's song "Am I Black Enough for You?" Documentary, 87 min., DVD, dir: Goran Olsson.
Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony (2002) - This documentary uses the history of the South African liberation movement to show the various ways that music was used to fight for freedom. Songs were a unification tool among the oppressed, and music consoled the incarcerated and created effective forms of underground communication within the prison walls. Documentary, 103 min., DVD, dir: Lee Hirsch.
Amazing Grace (1974) - Moms Mabley brings her biting humor to the big screen in a starring role as “Amazing Grace.” Grace Teasdale Grimes is a Baltimore widow who discovers that the local mayoral election is a front for pilfering funds from her neighborhood by the incumbent mayor. Stirred to activism, Grace, with the aid of her neighbors, rallies the community to thwart the self-serving politicians. Butterfly McQueen, Slappy White, and Stepin Fetchit appear in supporting roles. Comedy, 97 min., Blu-ray, VHS, dir: Stan Lathan.
Amazing Grace (2006) - Based on the life of William Wilberforce, the leader of the British abolition movement. The film follows his struggle to pass a law to end the slave trade in the late 18th century. Drama, 118 min., DVD, dir: Michael Apted.
Amazing Grace, An (1978) - Broadcast on public affairs program Like It Is, this documentary profiles Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., eminent leader of the Montgomery Boycott movement which gave birth to other anti-racial movements across the U.S. Before his assassination in 1968, King organized people to act to achieve racial integration in interstate travel and public accommodations. Documentary, 60 min., 16mm, VHS, dir: Gil Noble & Frank Olivo.
Ambushed (1998) - Jerry Robinson (Courtney B. Vance), a black policeman, and his partner are assigned to investigate the suspicious death of a Ku Klux Klan leader whose son was the crime's only witness. Robinson's partner is killed shortly into the investigation, which now places him on the possible suspect's list. Although he is innocent, Robinson flees fearing unjust retaliation from the townspeople. Action, 109 min., DVD, dir: Ernest R. Dickerson.
America Beyond the Color Line (2004) - Four-part PBS documentary series hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Documentary, 220 min., DVD, dir: Dan Percival & Mary Crisp.
American Blackout (2006) - A look at the career of U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney from Georgia, and the historical suppression of black voters in the United States. Documentary, 92 min., DVD, dir: Ian Inaba.
American Gangster (2007) - In 1970s America, a detective works to bring down the drug empire of Frank Lucas, a heroin kingpin from Manhattan, who is smuggling the drug into the country from the Far East. Drama, 113 min., DVD, dir: Ridley Scott.
American History for Children: African-American Life (1996) - This film invites K-4 aged children to learn about African-American history through graphics and animations, utilizing reenactments and sing-alongs to help tell the stories. Narration covers the slave trade, inhumane treatment of Blacks, KKK massacres, W.E.B. DuBois, and Booker T. Washington among other important historical figures. Documentary, 100 min., VHS, dir: Fabian & Baber.
American Newsreel 1 (1956) - Documentary, 5 min., 35mm, dir: n/a.
American Newsreel 2 (1956) - Documentary, 5 min., 35mm, dir: n/a.
American Pimp (1999) - Cutting straight to the heart of the world's oldest profession, this intimate portrait of infamous pimps like Filmore Slim, Gorgeous Dre, and Don Magic Juan is eye opening and shocking. From the streets of New York and San Francisco to the Players Ball in Milwaukee, you'll walk the boulevard of broken dreams and learn about the intricate process of pimping. Documentary, 87 min., DVD, dir: Albert & Allen Hughes.
American Promise (2014) follows the 12-year journey of two African-American families striving for opportunity and education for their sons. Documentary, 135 min. + extras, DVD, dir: Joe Brewster and Michele Stephenson.
American Red and Black: Stories of Afro-Native Identity (2006) - Six African-Native Americans from different parts of the country discuss the personal and complex issues of their Native and African heritage, identity, and racism. Documentary, 39 min., DVD, dir: Alicia Woods.
American Revolution 2 (1969) - This film, shot in cinema verite style, documents the aftermath of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and the two groups that emerged from the ensuing riots - the Black Panthers and the Young Patriots (a group that included poor Southern whites who had migrated to Chicago) - who united against the racism and social injustice prevalent in the city. Documentary, 75 min., DVD, dir: Howard Alk.
American Son (2008) - A young Marine returns home on a four-day Thanksgiving leave and is forced to deal with his volatile home life. Drama, 90 min., DVD, dir: Neil Abramson.
American Women: Portraits of Courage (1976) - This documentary tells the history of the American woman. The film gives a brief history about different famous American women and their achievements. Among the women featured are Harriet Tubman (Melba Moore), Sojourner Truth (Claudia McNeil), and Rosa Parks (Jonelle Allen). Documentary, 57 min., 16mm, dir: Robert Deubel.
America's Dream (1996) - Three short films based on stories by Maya Angelou, John Henrik Clarke, and Richard Wright. Drama, 87 min., DVD, dir: Paris Barclay, Bill Duke, and Kevin Rodney Sullivan.
Amilcar Cabral (2001) - Using rare archival footage, director Ana Lucia Ramos Lisboa accurately chonicles both the personal and public sides of an African icon in Amilcar Cabral. The founder of the African Party for Independence of Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGC), Amilcar Cabral, led the Liberation Movement against Portugal for those countries. Documentary, 52 min., DVD, dir: Ana Lucia Ramos Lisboa.
Amistad (1997) - The true story of mutiny led by Cinque (Djimon Hounsou) aboard the Spanish slave ship Amistad in 1839 and the landmark trial held in America following the capture of the slaves. Morgan Freeman plays abolitionist Joadson, who seeks to help the jailed African slaves acquire their freedom. Drama, 155 min., 16mm, VHS, dir: Steven Spielberg.
Amos & Andy Show, no. 1 & 2 (1951-1953) - Television Series, 52 min., VHS, dir: Charles Barton.
Amos & Andy Show, no. 3 & 4 (1951-1953) - Television Series, 52 min., VHS, dir: Charles Barton.
Amos & Andy Show, no. 5 & 6 (1951-1953) - Television Series, 52 min., VHS, dir: Charles Barton.
Amos 'n Andy Show, The: The Rare Coin (1951) - This is the pilot episode of The Amos 'n Andy Show and includes the introduction of the cast by the producers (Charles J. Correll and Freeman F. Gosden). The Kingfish (Tim Moore) cheats Andy (Spencer Williams, Jr.) out of an 1877 antique nickel that he manages to swindle right back. Based upon an earlier radio script. Directed by Abby Berlin prior to Charles Barton's taking over as director of the series. Comedy, 31 min., 16mm, dir: Abby Berlin.
An Island for Miguel (Una isla para Miguel) (1968) - A documentary focusing on Miguel, a young boy with disciplinary problems who is sent by his family to a citrus technician school run by the government with a very rigorous way of life. A glimpse inside Cuba's efforts at social reform and the elimination of juvenile delinquency. Documentary, 20 min., DVD, dir: Sara Gomez.
Anansi, the Spider (1969) - Anansi is a folk hero of the Ashanti people of Ghana. In this tale, Anasi falls into a river and is swallowed by a fish. His six extraordinary sons save him. Anasi gives the son who helps him the most a beautiful white globe - the moon. Children, 11 min., 16mm, dir: Gerald McDermott.
Ancient Africans, The (1970) - The film uses animation and color photography to explain the early history of African civilizations from the Stone Age to the 16th century. Studies the ancient kingdoms of Kush, Axum, Mali, Sonhay and the stone ruins of Zimbabwe. Documentary, 28 min., 16mm, VHS, dir: Sam Bryan.
And Still I Rise (1993) - Film focusing on media misrepresentation of black women's sexuality. Documentary, 30 min., VHS, dir: Ngozi Onwurah.
And We Have Flavor (Y tenemos sabor) (1967) - A documentary discussing the instruments used by Cuban musicians in popular dance music; features numerous musical performances. Documentary, 30 min., DVD, dir: Sara Gomez.
Anderson Platoon, The (1966) - Lieutenant Joseph B. Anderson, a black graduate of West Point, and his men were filmed in Vietnam as they ate, slept, fought and died. Pierre Schoendorffer narrates. Presented in U.S. by CBS-TV. Documentary, 65 min., VHS, dir: Pierre Schoendorffer.
Angel Levine, The (1970) - Reality and fantasy are interwoven in this story of a black Jewish "angel" sent to earth to save the wife and fortunes of a New York tailor played by Zero Mostel. Harry Belafonte plays the angel opposite Mostel whom he seeks to convince him that he is real. Drama, 106 min., 16mm, DVD, dir: Ján Kadár.
Angel Puss (1944) - An African American boy (Sambo/Stepin Fetchit caricature) is paid by a woman to drown a cat. He feels bad about throwing the cat in the water, but does so without realizing the cat has escaped. The cat proceeds to trick the boy into thinking he is a ghost. When the boy realizes the cat is really alive, he takes a gun and really does kill the cat. The ghosts of the cat's nine lives then really do scare the boy. On the Censored 11 DVD. Part of Looney Tunes series. Comedy, 7 min., DVD, dir: Chuck Jones.
Angelitos Negros (1970) - Mexican telenovela remake of the 1948 film of the same name concering the tensions between the racist Ana Luisa and her black nanny, Merce, who is secretly her mother. Drama, 105 min., DVD, dir: Joselito Rodríguez.
Angels Can't Help but Laugh (2006) - Twenty-five Hollywood actresses discuss the opportunities and the downsides in Hollywood. Cast includes Terri J. Vaghn, Regina King, Kimberly Brooks, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Vanessa Williams, and many more. Documentary, 84 min., DVD, dir: Thomas Burns.
Angels in the Dust (2007) - Documentary about a woman and her family in South Africa who take care of orphans with HIV/AIDS. Documentary, 95 min., DVD, dir: Louise Hogarth.
Angola 3, The: Black Panthers and the Last Slave Plantation (2008) - This film tells the story of three former members of the Black Panther Party incarcerated at Angola Louisiana State Prison in solitary confinement longer than anyone in modern US history and collectively known as the Angola 3. Documentary, 109 min., DVD, dir: Jimmy O'Halligan.
Animated Ethnic Stereotypes (1931-43) - This series of racial stereotypes includes: Uncle Tom and Little Eva; Africa Squeaks; Minnie the Moocher; Uncle Tom's Cabin; Down on the Levee; Little Black Sambo; Hey-hey Fever; Little Ol' Bosko and the Pirates; Little Ol' Bosko and the Cannibals; Scrub Me Mama with a Boogie Beat; Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs. Children, 82 min., VHS, dir: various.
Anita: Speaking Truth to Power (2013) - Directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Freida Mock, Anita is both a celebration of Anita Hill’s legacy and a rare glimpse into her private life with friends and family, many of whom were by her side that fateful day twenty-two years ago. Anita Hill speaks openly and intimately for the first time about her experiences that led her to testify before the Senate. Documentary, 77 min. DVD, dir: Freida Mock
Anna Lucasta (1958) - This film centers around the problems of a young woman (Eartha Kitt) who is thrown out of the house by a tyrannical father and then takes to the streets. Drama, 97 min., 16mm, DVD, dir: Arnold Laven.
Anniversary Trouble (1935) - Stymie (Matthew Beard) is the president of the Woodchucks; Spanky is the treasurer. Spanky misappropriates the club's money and gets in trouble when his mother thinks it is her anniversary present from her husband. Spanky disguises himself as Buckwheat in an unsuccessful attempt to escape the wrath of the club members. Buckwheat is female here, the "daughter" of Mandy the maid, played by Hattie McDaniel. Comedy, 19 min., 16mm, DVD, dir: Gus Meins.
Another You (1991) - Eddie Dash (Richard Pryor), a convicted con man, must fulfill 100 hours of community service by taking a recently released mental patient (Gene Wilder) to cultural sites. Tammy Hanson plays the hat check girl. Comedy, 110 min., VHS, dir: Maurice Phillips.
Anthem (1991) - This short film explores how the homosexual community is depicted in society and serves as a weapon of empowerment for its members. Documentary, 9 min., VHS, dir: Marlon Riggs.
Antwone Fisher (2002) - This drama, based on the memoir Finding Fish by Antwone Fisher, marked the directorial debut of actor Denzel Washington. Antwone (Derek Luke) is a sailor in the Navy who is constantly in trouble for his hot temper. He is ordered to see naval psychiatrist Dr. Davenport (Denzel Washington), and he slowly begins to reveal the harsh details of his troubled childhood, which cause his present-day emotional rage. Drama, 120 min., DVD, dir: Denzel Washington.
Anyplace but Here (1978) - Economically depressed, Southern blacks are enticed with stories of the Promised Land, Chicago. Despite the odds, millions travel to Chicago with dreams of a better life. Documentary, 50 min., 16mm, dir: Edmund Coulthend.
Aoki (2009) - Documentary about Richard Aoki, a Japanese American who was one of the founding members of the Black Panther Party. Documentary, 94 min., DVD, dir: Ben Wang & Mike Cheng.
Apartheid's Last Stand (1998) - After the presidency of Nelson Mandela, South Africa remains in the shadow of apartheid. This documentary highlights successes of the past and challenges of the future. Documentary, 52 min., VHS, dir: Ingrid Gavshon.
Apple Crumb Panic (1993) - A bike messenger is asked to do a delivery that he'll soon regret. When he is chased by a car, a thief, a pile of trash, and murderous cyborgs who want his delivery, he finally decides to figure out what they want. Horror, 24 min., DVD, dir: Jamison Bradley.
Après l’ocean (2006) - Two friends from the Ivory Coast, one a cab driver and one a drug dealer, hope to return home rich from Europe. Their lives take different paths, however, and one finds success in Europe while the other is deported; they eventually must confront each other. Drama, 108 min., DVD, dir: Éliane de Latour.
Araya (1959) - "Araya" is an old natural salt mine located in a peninsula in northeastern Venezuela which in 1959 was still being exploited manually five hundred years after its discovery by the Spanish. Margot Benacerraf captures the life of the "salineros" and their archaic methods of work in images before their replacement by the arrival of industrial exploitation. Documentary, 82 min., DVD, dir: Margot Benacerraf.
Arbre Aux Esprits, L' (Tree of Spirits) (2002) - Animated tale of two children trying to save a tree from being cut down. Children, 46 min., DVD, dir: Cilia Sawadogo.
Are You Satisfied? (1987) - Former Chicago Bears football coach, Mike Ditka, provides his personal philosophy for success in any endeavor to a father and son in this motivational video. Bears star offensive lineman, William "Refrigerator," Perry also stars as himself. Documentary, 31 min., 16mm, dir: Tom Barrett.
Aretha Franklin: Soul Singer (1968) - Behind-the-scenes footage of Aretha Franklin in rehearsals, with friends, on stage, and at home. She discusses how she began her career in the choir of her father's church and sings several of her songs, including "Respect" and "Natural Woman." Based on the ABC News production of The Singers: Two Profiles in which Aretha Franklin and Gloria Loring are compared. Documentary, 23 min., 16mm, dir: Stephen Fleischman.
Aristide and the Endless Revolution (2005) - Using interviews with politicians, scholars, and activists, this feature-length documentary investigates the overthrow of democratically elected President of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The film paints a complex picture of the growing pains of a young, economically depressed democracy. Documentary, 83 min., DVD, dir: Nicolas Rossier.
Art of Romare Bearden, The (2003) - This documentary film explores the life and work of Romare Bearden, regarded as one of the most important and gifted artists of the 20th century. His extensive work with collage, oils, and watercolors is bold and expressive. Morgan Freeman narrates the film, which also features Danny Glover reading from Bearden's writings. Documentary, 30 min., DVD, dir: Carroll Moore.
As I Remember It: Portrait of Dorothy West (1991) - This intimate portrait of writer Dorothy West explores the forgotten role of women in the Harlem Renaissance. From the perspective of her 83 years, West relates her memories of growing up African American, privileged, and enchanted by literature. Documentary, 56 min., VHS, dir: Salem Mekuria.
Ashes and Embers (1982) - Charles (John Anderson), a Vietnam veteran, struggles with his transition from ex-soldier to civilian. He must also deal with his status as an African American in a racist society. His grandmother (Evelyn Blackwell) and his friends aid in his psychological transformation. Drama, 120 min., VHS, dir: Haile Gerima.
Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., The (1993) - An investigative report of the assassination, the documentary includes interviews with people who were with Martin Luther King during his last hours. Documentary, 90 min., DVD, dir: Denis Mueller.
Asunder (1998) - A Tim Reid thriller about a man who moves in with his friend after his pregnant wife is killed in a Ferris wheel accident. Haunted by an affair with his friend's wife, the man begins to believe that his wife's death was not an accident, but an act of revenge. Drama, 103 min., DVD, dir: Tim Reid.
ATL (2006) - Working-class Atlanta teens spend their time bonding over hip-hop and rollerskating while pondering life after high school in this coming-of-age comedy drama that draws inspirations from the real-life childhoods of Dallas Austin (producer of Drumline) and Tionne Watkins (T-Boz of TLC). The ensemble cast features T.I. (Tip Harris), Big Boi (Antwan Andre Patton), and Lauren London. Bonus features include a behind-the-scenes look at Robinson on set and an exploration of Atlanta’s music scene with T.I. Drama, 105 min., DVD, dir: Chris Robinson
At the River I Stand (1993) - This moving documentary recounts the two months leading to Martin Luther King Jr.'s death in 1968, coinciding with the 65-day strike of 1300 Memphis sanitation workers. Documentary, 56 min., DVD, dir: David Appleby & Allison Graham.
Au loin des villages (2009) - A story that describes the Dejo ethnic group and the survivors from the war in Darfur. Documentary, 77 min., DVD, dir: Olivier Zuchuat.
August Wilson (1988) - Film discussing Wilson’s journey as a playwright. Wilson describes the creative process behind some of his most award-winning works including Joe Turner’s Come and Gone and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.Documentary, 29 min., VHS, dir: Bill Moyers.
August Wilson: A Conversation with August Wilson (1992) - Interview with playwright August Wilson on Blackness by Bill Moyers. Documentary, 22 min., VHS, dir: Matteo Bellinelli.
August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand (2015) - A film that includes new interviews with various film and stage celebrities and Wilson’s family.Documentary, 90 min., DVD, dir: Sam Pollard.
August Wilson's The Piano Lesson (Gold Crown Collector's Edition) (1995) depicts a family that has a family-carved piano which carries the story of their history from their slave days. There is conflict when the brother, Boy Willie, wants to sell the piano, but his sister, Berniece, refuses to sell it.Drama , 98 min., DVD, dir: Lloyd Richards.
Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, The (1974) - Based on Ernest J. Gaines novel, this fictional film focuses on Miss Jane Pittman (Cicely Tyson) celebrating her 110th birthday and recanting memories of being a former slave, working southern plantations up to her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. Winner of nine Emmies. Drama, 150 min., DVD, 110 min., VHS, dir: John Korty.
Avenir est ailleurs, L' (2007) - The Algerian War draws to a close. In the French West Indies, poverty is rife and strikes rock the region. France desperately needs unskilled labor. Mass emigration is put into action. It is the period of the BUMIDOM. For twenty years it will supply postal, customs, and subway workers, and domestic help. This film is a witness to these journeys that were often one-way. The exiled speak to us about their struggles, successes, and failures, their hopes, and the difficulty of being black French, and therefore citizens apart. Today their children bear the heritage of this generation and endure the integration difficulties specific to populations born of immigration. Documentary, 85 min., DVD, dir: Antoine-Leonard Maestrati.
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