May 2018 this year marks fifty years since riots and protests erupted around the world against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and the Soviet Union rolling tanks into Prague. Students, workers, dropouts, communists, hippies, and anarchists came together trying to build a new world. This month JGPACA and MDR will be paying homage to the militant black cinema that comes out of and echoes these revolutionary and counter cultural moments.
Death Maybe Your Santa Claus (1969), UK
A drama written and directed by Frankie Dymon Jr, as seen in Jean-Luc Godard’s film Sympathy for the Devil (aka One Plus One). In this experimental film echoing the social revolution of Paris 1968, a hypnotic and explosive vision of a young black militant in West London is presented. A film, in which political and sexual identities come together in countercultural 60s London.
Marseille Apres La Guerre (2015) , USA
Inspired by the Senegalese filmmaker and novelist, Ousmane Sembene who joined the French communist party and was a docker there, between the years of 1947 – 1959, Director Billy Woodberry presents a captivating photo montage of black and white archive images of the Marseille Dockers post-war movement. Sembene wrote his first novel The Black Docker (‘Docker Noir’) based on that experience. Woodberry, (one of the ‘LA Rebellion’ filmmakers from UCLA in the 1970s) is best known for his seminal feature film of the era ‘Bless Their Little Hearts’.