Black Is . . . Black Ain't
Cheryl Dunye: The Watermelon Woman
Thomas Allen Harris: Vintage: Families of Value
Riggs’s riveting combination of interviews, performance, stock footage, autobiography, poetry, and dance reveals the revolutionary potential of black men loving black men.
Thomas Allen Harris explores the intersections of race, family, and sexuality in this pioneering essay film, which focuses on three groups of queer black siblings, including the director and his brother.
Cheryl Dunye’s first feature, on a lesbian video-store clerk and would-be filmmaker who becomes obsessed with the career of an early “race film” star, is “funky screwball comedy in the key of queer” (B. Ruby Rich).
Riggs interrogates how material culture perpetuates racial stereotypes in this powerful and unblinking work. Followed by Color Adjustment, in which Riggs extends his examination to network television.
This program puts the work of Marlon Riggs in conversation with that of other artists reflecting on, affirming, and celebrating their identities, including Julie Dash, Isaac Julien, Thomas Allen Harris, and Brontez Purnell.
Riggs’s riveting combination of interviews, performance, stock footage, autobiography, poetry, and dance reveals the revolutionary potential of black men loving black men. With Riggs’s short Anthem.
Perhaps the first feature-length documentary on gay and lesbian identity, and still relevant today, this film features interviews with a diverse group of individuals, including poet Elsa Gidlow, activist Sally Gearhart, inventor John Burnside, civil rights leader Harry Hay, and filmmaker Nathaniel Dorsky.
Riggs and Peter Webster’s thesis project reflects on the heyday of Oakland blues in the late 1940s and ’50s, chronicling the city’s vibrant past while revealing an uncertain present. With Karen Everett’s profile of Riggs, I Shall Not Be Removed.
Riggs’s richly textured exploration of black American identity was his final work, completed by colleagues after his death. It features appearances by Angela Davis, bell hooks, Cornel West, Essex Hemphill, and Bill T. Jones, among other luminaries.