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BAMcinématek Presents 'Say It Loud: Cinema In The Age Of Black Power, 1966—1981'

BAMcinématek Presents 'Say It Loud: Cinema In The Age Of Black Power, 1966—1981'

From Friday, August 17 through Thursday, August 30 BAMcinématek presents Say It Loud: Cinema in the Age of Black Power, 1966-1981. A cinematic companion to the Brooklyn Museum's exhibit Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, the series explores revolutionary and relevant records of a struggle that continues to this day. As black consciousness spread across the globe in the mid-1960s, it gave rise to a radical cinema that both reflected and worked to further the cause of African-American liberation. "These films are confrontational, experimental, and ripe for (re)discovery, powerfully evoking their own time, and unarguably speaking to today's fractious social and political climate," explains series programmer Ashley Clark.

Say It Loud opens with a shorts program headlined by the US premiere of a new scan of Edouard de Laurot's lost classic Black Liberation( aka Silent Revolution) (1967-Aug 17) and screens with short films Off the Pig! (aka Black Panther) (Third World Newsreel, 1968) and Madeline Anderson's A Tribute to Malcolm X (1967). The earliest film in the series, Dutchman (Anthony Harvey, 1966-Aug 20), screens as part of a program dedicated to revolutionary playwright and poet Amiri Baraka alongside Medea (Ben Caldwell, 1973), inspired by Baraka's poem "Part of the Doctrine," and The New-Ark (Amiri Baraka, 1968), a recently rediscovered documentary by Baraka about grassroots consciousness-raising efforts connected to Spirit House, his black nationalist theater and community center.

Say It Loud contains myriad powerful documentaries like Eldridge Cleaver: Black Panther (William Klein, 1970-Aug 20), Black Panthers (Agnès Varda, 1968), No Vietnamese Ever Called Me Nigger (David L. Weiss, 1968-Aug 21), and Howard Alk's classic pair The Murder of Fred Hampton (1971-Aug 19) and American Revolution 2 (1969-Aug 19). Also screening in the series, Mel Stuart's concert documentary Wattstax (1973-Aug 18) and Herbert Danska's Right On! (1970-Aug 18), which documents performances by spoken word artists and proto-rappers The Last Poets.

Say It Loud also boasts the first major Hollywood studio film made by a black director, The Learning Tree (Gordon Parks, 1969-Aug 19), and some of the era's most radical filmmaking in Putney Swope (Robert Downey Sr., 1969-Aug 22), Symbiospychotaxiplasm (William Greaves, 1968-Aug 22), The Spook Who Sat By the Door (Ivan Dixon, 1973-Aug 23), Uptight (Jules Dassin, 1968-Aug 23), seminal works from L.A. Rebellion filmmakers including Passing Through (Larry Clark, 1977-Aug 28), Killer of Sheep (Charles Burnett, 1978-Aug 27), Bush Mama (Haile Gerima, 1979-Aug 26), and two films by Melvin Van Peebles: Watermelon Man (1970-Aug 30) and The Story of a Three Day Pass (1968-Aug 30). Also included in the series is a program of experimental short films by Betye Saar, Barbara McCulloch, Edward Owens, Ulysses S. Jenkins and Jamaa Fanaka.

The series also spotlights work addressing Black Power's impact around the world with screenings of Soleil O (Med Hondo, 1970-Aug 24), Sambizanga (Sarah Maldoror, 1972-Aug 26), and from the British Black Power movement: Pressure (Horace Ové, 1975-Aug 25) and Baldwin's Nigger (Horace Ové, 1968-Aug 25) screening with Death May Be Your Santa Claus (Frankie Dymon Jr., 1969).

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