Locarno Festival to Spotlight Black Cinema From Around The World

Variety | 7/1/2019 | Nick Vivarelli
Click For Photo: https://pmcvariety.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/do-the-right-thing.jpg?w=700&h=393&crop=1

As black filmmakers gain more traction within the Hollywood studio system, the Locarno Film Festival is putting the spotlight on black cinema around the world with a major retrospective titled Black Light set to kick off with Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing” freshly restored by Universal in 4K for the landmark race drama’s 30th anniversary.

The more than 40-title Black Light retro spans from Oscar Micheaux’s 1920 silent drama “Within Our Gates,” which is the oldest known surviving film by an African-American director and portrays the struggle of a mixed-race school teacher in the Deep South, to Christopher Harris’s 2000 doc “Still Here” depicting the more recent blight of U.S. neighborhoods inhabited almost exclusively by African Americans.

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Titles screening from outside the U.S. comprise Senegalese auteur Osmane Sembene’s 1966 “The black girl from …” based on a Sembene short and considered sub-Saharan Africa’s first feature film; 1974 Cuban romantic drama “De cierta manera” (“One Way or Another”) by Sara Gomez; and France-based Mauritanian director Med Hondo’s 1979 musical “West Indies” which narrates the history of the West Indies through centuries of French oppression.

“We cannot speak of a single black cinema any more than we can speak of one Africa,” the retro’s curator Greg de Cuir Jr. points out. Locarno’s Black Light therefore will be presenting a wide range of works with “internationalism” as its basic selection criteria, “all of them contributing to moving the conversation forward.”

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The U.S. does however feature prominently in Locarno’s Black Light retro just as black filmmakers made history in 2018, accounting for 14% percent of the directors of the top 100-grossing movies coming out of the Hollywood studios according to report...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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