Skip to main content
Indiana University Bloomington

Black Film Center/Archive College of Arts and Sciences


Films by Title: "O"

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

O (2001) - An update of Shakespeare's Othello with a young cast, set in an upperclass prep school, & centered around basketball player Odin (Mekhi Phifer). Drama, romance, thriller, 94 min., DVD, dir: Tim Blake Nelson.

O Dragao da maldade contra o Santo Guerreiro (1969) - A period piece about a Brazil that is no more. This movie is the sequel to "God and the Devil in the Land of the Sun" (Deus e o diabo na terra do sol), and takes place 29 years after Antonio das Mortes killed Corisco (the "Blond Devil"), last of the Cangaceiros. In "the old days", Antonio's function in life was exterminate these bandits, on account of his personal grudges against them. His life had been meaningless for the last 29 years, but now, a new challenge awaits him. When a Cangaceiro appears in Jardim Das Piranhas, the local Land Baron (Jofre Soares), an old man, does what seems obvious to him: he calls Antonio das Mortes, killer of Cangaceiros. At first, Antonio is ecstatic. His life has gained new meaning. But soon it becomes obvious that this new Cangaceiro (named Coirana) is no Corisco, but an idealist. An idealist of the sixties in the garb of the forties. A leader to the hopeless and the hungry. Antonio das Mortes begins to reconsider his feelings towards Coirana and his followers... Drama, 95 min., DVD, dir: Glauber Rocha.

O Heroi (The Hero) (2004) - After two decades of fighting for the Angolan army, Vitório loses his leg to a landmine. He is unable to locate a job or his family and faces indifference and mockery. Although he is able to secure a prosthesetic limb, it is stolen while he is sleeping on the street. Vitório is then helped by the prostitute Judith, the boy Manu, and Manu's teacher Joana. Drama, war, approx. 97 min., DVD, Zeze Gamboa.

O Testamento do Senhor Napumoceno (Napumoceno's Will) (1997) - The posthumous story of Cape Verde's leading citizen, who leaves his fortune to the daughter no one knew he had. As part of her inheritance, Graca receives a set of audiocassettes containing her father's personal accounts of his wild, romantic and often dubious exploits. Drama, 110 min., VHS, dir: Francisco Manso.

Ocoee: Legacy of the Election Day Massacre (2012) - In the early twentieth century, the city of Ocoee, Florida, was home of a prosperous African-American community. However, when on Election Day 1920, Mose Norman and July Perry, tried to cast their votes, the African-American community disappeared from Ocoee's history. Documentary, 26 min., DVD, dir: Sandra Krasa and Bianca White.

Odds against Tomorrow (1959) - Robert Ryan plays a bigot who distrusts Harry Belafonte, and Ed Begley plays the mastermind who tries to hold things together as the three attempt a stick-up in a Hudson valley town. Drama, 96 min., 16mm, DVD, dir: Robert Wise.

Odds and Ends: A New-Age Amazon Fable (1993) - In the year 2096, Lt. Loz Wayward (Latanya West) and her lover Sephra (Cyndi James Gossett) struggle with an alliance of fellow black women soldiers against racial and gender assimilation from clones. Sci-fi, 28 min., VHS, dir: Michelle Parkerson.

Of Boys and Men (2008) - Holden and Rieta Cole’s eldest son Terrell is graduating from college. But tragedy strikes suddenly, and now the Coles are forced to cope with overwhelming grief on top of life’s everyday challenges. While Holden battles demons of pain and regret, his sister Janay steps in to help guide her loved ones on a healing path...and save her young nephew Z from making a terrible mistake. Set in Chicago’s West Side, starring Robert Townsend with Angela Bassett and Victoria Rockwell. Drama, 90 min., DVD, dir: Carl Seaton.

Of Mind and Music (2014) - Based on Nicolas Bazan's novel about a New Orleans street musician suffering from memory loss and a disillusioned neuroscientist devoted to helping her. Drama, music, 98 min., Blu-Ray, dir: Richie Adams.

Of One Blood (1944) - Spencer Williams, Jr. plays a deaf mute who is actually an undercover FBI agent in this film which contain some of his religious/moral symbols. Drama, 65 min., VHS, U-Matic, dir: Spencer Williams.

Off and Running (2009) - With white Jewish lesbians for parents and two adopted brothers — one mixed-race and one Korean—Brooklyn teen Avery grew up in a unique and loving household. But when her curiosity about her African-American roots grows, she decides to contact her birth mother. This choice propels Avery into her own complicated exploration of race, identity, and family that threatens to distance her from the parents she’s always known. Documentary, 76 min., DVD, dir: Nicole Opper.

Off Limits (1988) - In this mystery that utilizes the Vietnam War as a backdrop, Sergeant Buck McGriff and his partner discover that a prostitute has been murdered. At the top of the suspect list are several high-ranking US officers. Conflicted, McGriff continues his hunt for the killer. On Action-Packed Double Feature. Adventure, crime, action, thriller, war, 102 min., DVD, dir: Christopher Crowe.

Officer and a Gentleman, An (1982) - Lou Gossett, Jr. is Zack Mayo's (Richard Gere) hard core drill sergeant, Emil Foley, who pushes him and all his Naval Officer candidates to peak potential. Harold Sylvester appears as Perryman, a fellow candidate who has difficulty shining his belt buckles. Drama, 126 min., VHS, dir: Taylor Hackford.

Oft in the Silly Night (1929) - A chauffeur falls in love with the daughter of his employer. Comedy, 16 min., DVD, dir: Arvid E. Gillstrom.

Oggun: An Eternal Presence (1991) - The Cuban Yoruba singer and founding member of the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional Lazaro Ros tells the story of Orisha Oggun, the god of war and peace, metals, and civilization. Documentary, 50 min., VHS, DVD, dir: Gloria Rolando.

OJ: Made in America (2016) - This documentary focuses on the former football player’s life. The five episodes look at OJ’s life from his rising fame in college to the murder case of his ex-wife that changed many people’s perspectives of him. The documentary also analyzes the racial climate of Los Angeles and looks at how Simpson’s life fits within the racial struggles that many Angelinos faced. Documentary, biography, crime, 467 min., Blu-Ray, dir: Ezra Edelman.

Ol' King Cotton (1930) - This musical short presents a story about a man (George Dewey Washington) who gets a chance to go to New York but pines for the open fields of the country. Musical, 11 min., 16mm, dir: Ray Cozine.

Old Boy (2013) - Spike Lee’s adaptation of Chan-Wook Park’s 2003 revenge film stars Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, and Sharlto Copley. Kidnapped and kept in solitary confinement for 20 years, Joe Doucett (Brolin) has suddenly been set free without a word of explanation. Obsessed with finding those who imprisoned him, Doucett wreaks havoc upon his captors, unaware his freedom is part of a plan and his true punishment’s about to begin. Action, drama, 104 min., DVD, Dir: Spike Lee.

Old Dry Frye (1985) - In this retelling of an Appalachian folktale, a family in northern Georgia invites a chicken-loving preacher named Old Dry Frye (Jeffery Watkins) to dinner where he chokes to death. The father of the family takes him out to the forest to dispose of the body where a series of events turns the preacher's death into everyone's problem. Drama, 29 min., 16mm, dir: Gary D. Moss.

Old House, The (1936) - Bosko, Bruno and Honey dare to go inside an old, abandoned (and haunted) house with wild and frightening results. Children, 10 min., VHS, dir: Hugh Harman.

Old Is the New (2012) - A young Chinese woman tourism officer is sent to an isolated and forgotten region of southern Italy to investigate its touristic potential. She learns about the local traditions and how they are threatened by the tourism industry. Comedy, 84 min., DVD, dir: Dario Bischofberger.

Old Man and the Storm, The (2009) - The story of one family's spirit and determination to rebuild their lives in post-Katrina New Orleans. Documentary, 60 min., DVD, dir: June Cross.

Old Plaza (Plaza vieja) (1962) -1962 Cuban documentary about the architecture of Havana’s Plaza Vieja, or Old Square. Documentary, 5 min., DVD, dir: N/A.

Old Wife's Tale, An (1998) - Hendrik (James Borthwick) decides to take a second wife in the "new" South Africa, but what will his current wife (Elize Cawood) have to say about it? Comedy, 24 min., VHS, dir: Dumisani Phakathi.

Olio for Jasper (1946) - Scarecrow tells Jasper a sob story about his past in order to bilk Jasper out of his Christmas toy. Children, 7 min., VHS, dir: George Pal.

Olympic Pride-American Prejudice (2016) - Documentary exploring the experiences of all eighteen African American athletes who participated in the Berlin Olympic Games in 1936, including the jarring contrast between their treatment by those at home with that by the people of Nazi Germany. Documentary, history, 79 min., DVD, dir: Deborah Riley Draper.

Omar & Pete (2005) -Examines the social, economic, and personal barriers two ex-offenders face as they try to reintegrate into their communities and families. Documentary, 71 min., DVD, dir: Tod Lending.

On the Beach (2003) Drama, 2 min., DVD, dir: S. Torriano Berry.

On the Downbeat: A Jazz Heritage (1988) - This television documentary displays the history of jazz and ragtime and its impact and influence in Indiana and the entire midwest. Originally aired on television 10/28/1982. Documentary, 29 min., VHS, dir: David Derkacy.

On the Pillow (1995) -A film about a husband and father to be who contracts the HIV virus after a one night stand, and must explain his condition to his spouse. Drama, 10 min., DVD, dir: Parrish Smith.

On the Rumba River (2007) - A tribute to the Congolese musician Papa Wendo. The documentary features a reunion concert of many of Wendo’s bandmates in 2004. Documentary, music, 85 min., DVD, dir: Jacques Sarasin.

On the Verge of a Fever (2004) -Against the backdrop of poverty, fear and the brutal dictatorship of Haiti in 1971, 'On the Verge of a Fever' ('Le goût des jeunes filles') is about Fanfan, a 15-year-old boy who just wants to experience life for himself with his streetwise friend Gégé. Having lived a somewhat sheltered life with his protective mother, Fanfan experiences a bizarrely terrifying incident involving a Tonton-Macoute. As a result, he decides to hide out at his beautiful neighbor's house for the weekend. There, he is trapped between his fear of being caught and the fulfilling of his deepest fantasy. Drama, 88 min., DVD, dir: Dany Laferriere.

Once in the Life (2000) - Laurence Fishburne developed this film from his play, "Riff Raff." The film presents the never-ending cycle of drug violence and explores the few options to leave that life. Drama, 107 min., DVD, dir: Laurence Fishburne.

Once There Was a City (1985) - This documentary presents the history of the Woodruff Place neighborhood in Indianpolis through drawings, photographs, and oral history. The development of the suburb and how it was changed by the encroachment of the city as well as its historic preservation are covered. Documentary, 29 min., 16mm, dir: Fred Karrash and Margaret Osburn.

Once Upon a Time...When We Were Colored (1995) - Set in the Mississippi Delta in 1946, the film, based on Clifton Taulbert's book, chronicles his coming-of-age in the segregated South. Drama, 113 min., VHS, dir: Tim Reid.

One Doctor: Daniel Hale Williams (1997) - Daniel Hale Williams became the first surgeon to successfully perform an operation on the human heart in 1893. This biographical documentary discusses the landmark event as well as Dr. Williams' other contributions to medicine. Documentary, 45 min., VHS, dir: Rex Barnett.

One Evening in July (2001) - On Queen Latifah Presents Mama Africa. Short, 26 min., DVD, dir. Raja Amari.

One False Move (1991) - After brutally murdering a black family in Los Angeles, Fantasia (Cynda Williams), her lover Ray (Billy Bob Thornton), and the knife wielding Pluto (Michael Beach) become fugitives from the law. Kevin Hunter plays Fantasia's brother; Phyllis Kirklin, Fantasia's mother; and Robert Anthony Bell, Fantasia's five-year-old son. B.L. Brister briefly appears as the blues harmonica player. Drama, 106 min., VHS, dir: Carl Franklin.

100 Rifles (1969) -Burt Reynolds plays Yaqui Joe, an Indian who robs a bank in order to buy guns for his people who are being savagely repressed by the government. Set in turn of the century Mexico, it tells the story of his flight into Mexico and his pursuit by an American lawman. They eventually become allies and team up with Raquel Welch to take up the cause of the Indians. Western, 109 min., DVD, dir: Tom Gries.

One in a Million (2009) - Drama, 136 min., DVD, dir: Kensteve Anuka.

One Potato, Two Potato (1964) - A white divorcee in a midwestern town marries a black co-worker and they move in with his parents who run a small farm. Her white ex-husband returns and fights for legal custody of their daughter on the grounds that he does not want her raised with her half-brother. Drama, 92 min., 16mm, VHS, dir: Larry Peerce.

One Special Moment (2001) - This made-for-TV film is based on a romance novel by Brenda Jackson. Hollywood movie star Silver (Kirk Taylor) falls in love for schoolteacher Colby (Tamara Taylor). Drama, 90 min., DVD, dir: Nelson George.

One True Thing (1999) - Based on the novel by Anna Quindlen, the film examines the confusing, painful and ultimately healing circumstances that occur when Ellen Gulden (Renée Zellweger), a Manhattan journalist, is forced to move back home to help her middle-age parents through a crisis. Drama, 128 min., VHS, dir: Carl Franklin.

One Week(2000) - One week before his wedding, a man is contacted and informed that a previous lover has contracted the AIDS virus, and he must now await the test results with his marriage plans just around the corner. Grand Jury Prize Winner of the Urbanworld film Festival. Drama, 97 min., DVD, dir: Carl Seaton.

Onliest One Alive, The (1989) - A survivor of the Jonestown massacre, Hyazinth, expresses the agony and frustration that are characteristic of disaster survivors. Documentary, 58 min., VHS, dir: Dustin Teel.

Only Good Indian, The (2009) - A Native American teenaged boy is taken from his family and forced to attend a school that will assimilate him into white society. After he flees to return to his family, a bounty hunter of Cherokee decent is sent to find the boy. Western, 114 min., DVD, dir: Kevin Willmott.

Orfeu (1999) - The film reenacts the myth of Orpheus in Rio de Janeiro during Carnival. Orfeu de Conceicao (Toni Garrido), the most famous samba player in Brazil, falls in love with the beautiful Euridice (Patricia Franca), but their relationship is tested when the local drug lord Lucinho (Murilo Benicio), Orfeu's former friend, falls for Euridice as well. Drama, 110 min., VHS, dir: Carlos Diegues.

Organization, The (1971) - In San Francisco, Police Lieutenant Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) helps a group of idealistic vigilantes expose a drug ring controlled by powerful businessmen. Action, crime, drama, 107 min., VHS, dir: Don Medford.

Orgasmo nero (Sex and Black Magic) (1980) - An exploitation film centered upon an anthropologist studying the customs of a native island tribe, his wife, and their trysts while on the island. Action, erotica, 97 min., DVD, dir: Joe D'Amato.

Original Gangstas (1996) - The film focuses on a promising basketball player killed for hustling a gang, a man shot for trying to help the police, and of the middle-aged heroes who take back the streets. Action, 99 min., DVD, dir: Larry Cohen.

Original Kings of Comedy, The (2000) - A documentary by Spike Lee of the "Kings of Comedy" tour featuring D.L. Hughley, Steve Harvey, Bernie Mac, and Cedric the Entertainer. Comedy, 115 min., DVD, dir: Spike Lee.

Origins of the Black Panther Party (2006) - Panel discussion broadcast on C-SPAN in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party. Sponsored by the University of New Mexico, African American Studies Department on February 18, 2006. Television, 115 min., DVD, dir: N/A.

Ornette: Made in America (1985) – Shirley Clarke’s documentary captures Ornette Coleman’s evolution over three decades as it chronicles his boyhood in segregated Texas and his subsequent emergence an American cultural pioneer and world-class icon. Clarke’s innovative techniques eschew traditional documentary style to present a portrait that more closely parallels the experimentation of Coleman’s music. Part of Milestone Films’ Project Shirley. Documentary, music, 85 min., Blu-Ray, dir: Shirley Clarke.

OT: Our Town (2002) - Dominguez High, in the infamous Compton, CA, has not produced a play in over twenty years. With no money and no stage, two teachers and twenty-four students attempt to produce Thornton Wilder's American Classic Our Town. Documentary, 77 min., DVD, dir: Scott Hamilton Kennedy.

Otello (1988) - Verdi's opera based on Shakespeare's play, featuring Plácido Domingo in blackface. Drama, 118 min., VHS, dir: Franco Zeffirelli.

Othello (1980) - Drama, 16mm, dir: Liz White.

Othello (1995) - William Shakespeare's play about the Moor General Othello's (Laurence Fishburne) life amongst the Venetians is once again brought to the big screen. Drama, 123 min., DVD, dir: Oliver Parker.

Other Shore, The (L'Autre côté de la mer) (1997) - An Algerian-born Frenchman travels to France for an operation. His sister and friend both want him to return to France permanently, but that would mean selling his Algerian business. Drama, 89 min., DVD, dir: Dominique Cabrera.

Other Side of the Water, The: The Journey of a Haitian Rara Band in Brooklyn (2008) - A Documentary showing how Haitian immigrants carried their ancient music from Haiti to the streets of Brooklyn. The filmmakers focus on the journey of DJARARA and their efforts to reinvent rara, a genre that originally served as the voice of slaves during their revolts against the French in Haiti. Documentary, 57 min., DVD-R, dir: Magali Damas and Jeremy Robins.

Other World, The (2001) -Inspired by the realities of Algeria's civil war, The Other World takes viewers on a journey into the madness of the country's recent political and religious conflict. Yasmine and Rachid, two young Parisians who are the children of Algerian immigrants, live a quiet life in France. When Rachid disappears, Yasmine learns that he is in Algeria, and decides to follow him. Taking a ferry across the Mediterranean, she enters a country filled with violence, where the veterans of the war in Afghanistan are waging a campaign of terror against the Algerian government. As in his earlier films, Allouache uses an understated style of direction, relying on small details and the humanity of his characters to create tension and capture the desolation that the civil war inflicted on the Algerian people. Drama, duration undetermined, DVD, dir: Merazk Allouache.

Otis Redding Live at Monterey -

  • Remembering Otis (1988) - This documentary memorializing singer/songwriter Otis Redding includes black and white footage from his "Stay Volt" tour in 1967 and an on camera interview with fellow musicians, Booker T. Jones and Steve Cropper, from the band Booker T. Jones and the M.G.'s. Released with Shake (1986) by HBO Video. Documentary, 11 min., VHS, dir: D.A. Pennebaker, Chris Hegedus, and Alan Douglas.
  • Shake (1986) - This film consists of color footage of Otis Redding's legendary performance at the Monterey Pop Festival (1967) a few months before his death in a plane crash. Released with Remembering Otis (1988) by HBO Video. Music performance, 19 min., VHS, dir: D.A. Pennebaker, Chris Hegedus, and David Dawkins.

Otomo (1999) -The true story of Otomo, a black man seeking work and asylum in the German city of Stuttgart. However, all he finds is racism, police trouble and his final destiny. Drama, 85 min., DVD, dir: Frieder Schlaich.

Otro Francisco, El [aka The Other Francisco] (1975) - Based on the first anti-slavery novel in Latin America, Francisco by Anselmo Suarez y Romero, El Otro Francisco treats the institution of slavery as it existed in Cuba in the 19th century and offers a critique of the novel. Produced by the Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematographics (ICIAC). In Spanish with English subtitles. Drama, 98 min., VHS, dir: Sergio Giral.

Ouaga Saga (2005) - In the capital of Burkina Faso, a group of youth embark on many adventures and look for a sense of hope. Drama, history, war, 85 min., DVD, dir: Dani Kouyate.

Ouanga [aka Drums of the Jungle; The Love Wanga] (1935) - Fredi Washington plays Cleeli, a voodoo priestess who is intent on winning back the white man she loves (Philip Brandon) through any means in this early film. Horror, 56 min., VHS, dir: George Terwillerger.

Our America (2002) - The true story of two African-American teen radio reporters and their documentary investigation of a notorious child murder. Drama, 95 min., DVD, dir: Ernest R. Dickerson.

Our Gang (1922) - A merchant moves to town and tries to convince customers to shop at his store rather than at an established store that a widow has operated for years. Soon a gang of children step in to help the widow. Comedy, short, television series, 20 min., 16mm, dir: Robert F. McGowan.

Our Gang Comedies (1928-1934) - Children, duration undetermined, VHS, dir: Hal Roach.

Our Gang Follies of 1938 (1938) - The gang stages a musical show in its kid-rigged cellar theatre. Alfalfa dreams of an opera singing future but comes back from his nightmare to sing Bing Crosby style for the gang's show. Buckwheat has the role of a Stokowski-like conductor. Billie Thomas stars as Buckwheat. Children, 21 min., VHS, DVD, dir: Gordon Douglas.

Out of Africa (1985) - In 20th-century colonial Kenya, a Danish baroness/plantation owner has a passionate love affair with a free-spirited big-game hunter. From the Josef Gugler African and Middle Eastern Film Collection (COL 12). Drama, romance, 161 min., VHS, DVD, dir: Sydney Pollack.

Out of Time (2003) - Matt Lee Whitlock (Denzel Washington), a chief of police in a small Florida town, while trying to solve a double homicide, becomes himself the prime suspect. Drama, 105 min., DVD, dir: Carl Franklin.

Overnight Sensation (1983) - An affluent couple come to terms with the instant success of the wife's (Louise Fletcher) novel about an older married woman who has a passionate love affair with a younger man. The husband (Robert Loggia) begins to suspect the story is autobiographical and investigates. Shari Belafonte plays Daphne. Drama, 30 min., 16mm, dir: Jon N. Bloom.

Oversimplification of Her Beauty, An (2012) -This mix of live action and animation captures the relationship between a man and a woman as it teeters between platonic and romantic. Drama, 93 min., DVD, dir: Terence Nance.

OWLs, The (2010) - The once popular members of the lesbian band “The Screech,” have faded into obscurity. Struggling to cope with unanticipated turmoil and relationship strife, two lesbian couples and longtime friends attend a party that goes horribly wrong. Generations collide for these Older, Wiser, Lesbians, or “OWLs.” Crime, drama, mystery, 66 min., DVD, dir: Cheryl Dunye.

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