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Xcèntric 2020

Black Feminism

Audiovisuals

One of the most overlooked and little known stories of the cinema is the documental and experimental production of pioneering Afro-American filmmakers in the seventies and early eighties. With limited means, in the face of contempt and hostility, these portraits manifest and value their stories, bodies and images.

Starting with a Nina Simone song, in Four Women Julie Dash presents Lina Martina Young in a dance film where the form and treatment of light and colour turn figurative stereotypes to oblique, critical angles. Water Ritual is a pioneering film in experimental black feminist cinema. Conceived as a ritual in an abandoned area of Watts, it dialogues with the African Diaspora cosmology and attempts to expel the putrefaction absorbed from the physical environment and to cleanse it.

In her portrayal of invisible women, with Killing Time Fronza Woods presents the dilemma of a woman preparing to commit suicide and, with Fannie’s Film, a 65 year old cleaning woman talks about her life, hopes and feelings. “What inspires me are people who don't sit on life’s rump but have the courage, energy, and audacity not only to grab it by the horns, but to steer it as well.” (Fronza Woods). Finally, Suzanne, Suzanne is a raw documentary by Camille Billops about her niece’s fight to comprehend the legacy of her violent, abusive father, her mother’s complicity, and drug addiction as an escape; in the film, after years of silence, she shares these experiences with her mother.

Four Women, Julie Dash, 1975, 16 mm, 8 min

Water Ritual #1: An Urban Rite of Purification, Barbara McCullough, 1979, 16 mm, 5 min

Killing Time, Fronza Woods, 1979, 16 mm, 10 min

Fannie’s Film, F. Woods, 1979, 16 mm, 15 min

Suzanne, Suzanne, Camille Billops and James Hatch, 1982, 16 mm, 30 min

 

Video screening. Spanish subtitles.

Copies of Fronza Woods courtesy of Women Make Movies.

Copies of Julie Dash, Barbara McCullough, and Camille Bishop and James Hatch courtesy of Third World Newsreel.

A programme by Gonzalo de Lucas.

 

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