No Regrets: A Celebration of Marlon Riggs

September 19–November 25, 2019

In his lucid and provocative video essays, Marlon Riggs grappled with African American culture, representation, and identity. This retrospective presents all of his films, in dialogue with works by other filmmakers.

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  • Tongues Untied

  • Black Is . . . Black Ain't

  • Affirmations

  • Cheryl Dunye: The Watermelon Woman

  • Thomas Allen Harris: Vintage: Families of Value

  • Upcoming
    Films
  • Past
    Films
  • Past
    Events

Upcoming Films

  • Black Is . . . Black Ain’t

    Marlon Riggs
    United States, 1995

    BAMPFA Collection

    • Thursday, September 19 7 PM
    Nicole Atkinson Roach, Ryanaustin Dennis, and Chika Okoye in Conversation

    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.

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  • Long Train Running: A History of the Oakland Blues

    Marlon Riggs, Peter Webster
    United States, 1981
    • Thursday, September 26 7 PM
    Introduction by Ashley Omoma; Karen Everett in Person

    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.

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  • Word Is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives

    Peter Adair, Nancy Adair, Veronica Selver, Andrew Brown, Robert Epstein, Lucy Massie Phenix
    United States, 1977
    • Friday, October 18 7 PM
    Mariposa Film Group Members in Person

    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.

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  • Tongues Untied

    Marlon Riggs
    United States, 1989

    Tongues Untied is also presented in a free screening on Monday, November 25 (with Ken Light, Darieck B. Scott, and Leila Weefur in conversation).

    • Wednesday, October 23 7 PM
    Introduction by Elena Gross; Vivian Kleiman in Conversation

    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.

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  • Reflections and Affirmations: Marlon Riggs and Others


    • Friday, October 25 4 PM
    Brontez Purnell in Person

    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.

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  • Ethnic Notions

    Marlon Riggs
    United States, 1986
    • Friday, November 1 4 PM
    Introduction by Herman S. Gray

    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.

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  • The Watermelon Woman

    Cheryl Dunye
    United States, 1996
    • Saturday, November 2 8 PM

    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).

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  • Vintage: Families of Value

    Thomas Allen Harris
    United States, 1995
    • Friday, November 22 7 PM
    Jesse Hawthorne Ficks and Marvin K. White in Conversation

    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.

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  • Tongues Untied

    Marlon Riggs
    United States, 1989

    Free Admission!

    Tongues Untied also screens Wednesday, October 23 (with Elena Gross and Vivian Kleiman in conversation; regular admission prices apply).

    • Monday, November 25 6:30 PM
    Ken Light, Darieck B. Scott, and Leila Weefur in Conversation

    Riggs’s riveting combination of interviews, performance, stock footage, autobiography, poetry, and dance reveals the revolutionary potential of black men loving black men.

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