Friday, January 30, 2015

Black Queer Film

This road has certainly been dusty, but not for lack of things to talk about. In any case, I put this list together, with the help of many folks (thank you John Keene, Ernest Hardy, Sheree Ross, Andrew Dowe and other kindly folk). It is by no means complete, but I at least wanted to put it out there:

Yale University's Black Atlantic Queer Film Collection
(by Director)

Karim Ainouz (Brazil)
·         Madame Sata (2002), 105 min

Philip Brooks & Laurent Bocahut (Ivory Coast, France)
·         Woubi Cheri (1998), 62 min

Mohamed Camara (Guinea)
·         Dakan (Destiny), (1997), 87 min

Shirley Clarke (US)
·         Portrait of Jason (1967), 105 min

Cheryl Dunye (US)
·         The Early Works of Cheryl Dunye (Compilation)
o   Greetings from Africa (1994), 9 min**
o   The Potluck and the Passion (1993), 24 min**
o   An Untitled Portrait (1993), 22 min**
o   Vanilla Sex (1992), 4 min
o   She Don’t Fade (1991), 3.5 min
o   Janine (1990), 9 min**
·         The Stranger Inside (2001), 97 min
·         The Watermelon Woman (1997), 80 min
**also available as individual films

Rodney Evans (Jamaica)
·         Close to Home (1998), 24 min

Richard Fung (Trinidad/Canada)
·         Dirty Laundry (1996), 30 min

Leah Gilliam (US)
·         Sapphire and the Slave Girl (1995), 17 min
·         Now Pretend (1992), 10 min

Thomas Allen Harris (US)
·         E Minha Cara (That’s My Face) (2001), 57 min
·         Encounter at the Intergalactic Café (1996), 17 min
·         Heaven, Earth and Hell (1994), 25 min
·         Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela (2005), 73 min
·         Vintage: Families of Value (1995), 71 min

Neil Jordan (UK)
·         The Crying Game (1992), 112 min

Jamal Joseph (US)
·         Hughes’ Dream Harlem (2002), 61 min

Isaac Julien (UK)
·         The Attendant (1992), 8 min
·         Baadasssss Cinema (2002), 56 min
·         The Darker Side of Black (1993), 59 min
·         Derek (2008), 76 min
·         ENCORE (Paradise Omeros: Redux) (2003), 4.5 min
*from Point of View: An Anthology of the Moving Image
·         Fantome Afrique (2005) 16.5, min
·         Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask (1995), 52 min
·         Looking for Langston (1989), 45 min
·         Territories (1985), 25 min
·         This is not an AIDS Advertisement (1988), 10 min
·         True North (2006), 14 min
·         Western Union: Small Boats (3-screen composite) (2007), 18 min
·         Young Soul Rebels (1991), 105 min
·         The Passion of Remembrance (1986), 80 min
*with Maureen Blackwood

Nancy Kates  & Bennett Singer (US)
·         Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin (2002), 83 min

Spike Lee (US)
·         Get on the Bus (1996), 121 min
·         She Hate Me (2004), 138 min

Michelle Parkerson (US)
·         But Then, She’s Betty Carter (1980), 53 min
·         Gotta Make this Journey: Sweet Honey in the Rock (1984), 58 min
·         A Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde (1995), 90 min
*with Ada Gay Griffin
·         Odds & Ends (1993), 28 min
·         Stormé: The Lady of the Jewel Box (1987), 21 min

Pratibha Parmar (UK)
·         Flesh and Paper (1990), 26 min
·         Jodie: An Icon (1996), 24 min
·         Khush (1991), 24 min
·         Memshabib Rita (1994), 20 min
·         A Place of Rage (1991), 52 min
·         The Righteous Babes (1998), 50 min
·         Warrior Marks (1993), 54

Marlon Riggs (US)
·         Affirmations (1990), 10 min
·         Anthem (1991), 9 min
·         Black Is…Black Aint (1995), 86 min
·         Color Adjustment (1991), 87 min
·         Ethnic Notions (1987), 57 min
·         Je Ne Regrette Rien (No Regrets) (1992), 38 min
·         Tongues Untied (1989), 55 min

Shamim Sarif (UK/S. Africa)
·         The World Unseen (2007), 94 min
·         I Can’t Think Straight (2007), 80 min 

Michael Schultz (US)
·         Car Wash (1976), 97

Aishah Shahidah Simmons (US)
·         No! Confronting Sexual Assault in Our Communities (2006), 94 min

Karen Thorsen (US)
·         James Baldwin: The Prices of the Ticket (1990), 87 min

Rose Troche (US)
·         Go Fish (1994), 88 min
·         The Safety of Objects (2001), 121 min

Yvonne Welbon (US)
·         The Cinematic Jazz of Julie Dash (1992), 27 min
·         Living with Pride: Ruth Ellis @ 100 (1999), 60 min
·         Monique (1991), 3 min
·         Remembering Wei Yi-Fang, Remembering Myself (1995), 30 min
·         Sisters in Cinema (2003), 62
·         A Taste of Dirt (2002), 12 min

Kortney Ryan Ziegler (US)
·         Still Black: A Portrait of Black Transmen (2008), 77 min

The Collection (After The Drag Race)
(Alphabetized by Film Title)

24 Hours a Day Jocelyn Taylor (1993, color, video) 9 mins. Routine activities take on curious sexual overtones.
After Nine Sechaba Morojele South Africa (2007, color video – 4 part series) 48 min After Nine explores a successful but closeted man with all the outward elements of South African life: entrepreneurial success within the BEE framework, societal pressure and the expectations of culture.
The Aggressives (2005, color, video) Danielle Peddle (US) A documentary look at women who prefer to dress and act as men and who participate in NYC's predominantly African-American lesbian drag balls.
Among Good Christian People Jacqueline Woodson and Catherine Saalfield (1990, color & b/w, video) 24 mins. [F, TWN] An autobiographical documentary about Jacqueline Woodson's experiences growing up as a black lesbian Jehovah's Witness.
B D Women Inge Blackman (1994, video short) 20 min
Badass Supermama Etang Inyang (1996, color, video) 16 mins. [F]. A playful, yet critical personal exploration of an adolescent fascination with blaxploitation queen Pam Grier. Questions race, gender, and sexuality through the lens of star worshiping.
The Balance Pamela Jennings(1993, Interactive computer media) A HyperCard programmed poem.
Be a Diva Jocelyn Taylor with DIVA TV (1990, color, video) 58 mins. A call for video activism.
A Bird in the Hand Melanie Nelson and Catherine Saalfield ( 1992, color, video) 25 mins. A video about lovers trying to escape New York and the reality of their friend Ayo's abusive relationship.
Black Beulahs (South African)
Black Body Thomas Allen Harris (1992, Color) 7 min. Thomas Allen Harris uses text, special effects, and a single bound male nude to emphasize the humanity underlying the multiple definitions of black identity and subjectivity.
Black Nations/Queer Nations Shari Frilot (1995, color, video) 50 mins. [TWN] An experimental documentary chronicling the March 1995 ground breaking conference on lesbian and gay sexualities in the African Diaspora.
Black Women, Sexual Politics and the Revolution Cyrille Phipps and Not Channel Zero (1992, color, video) 30 mins. [TWN] Focuses on sexual equality in the Black community.
black. womyn. conversations Tiona McClodden ()
Blind Faith (Showtime Cable Television)
Blood Poem Jamika Ajalon (1991, color, video) 9 mins.
Bodily Functions Jocelyn Taylor (1995, color & b/w, video) 20 mins. [TWN]. The theoretical Black lesbian body made flesh. Camera functions as voyeur and observer through interviews about sex, self, and shots of a nude woman as she walks through urban streets.
The Body of a Poet: A Tribute to Audre Lorde Sonali Fernando *England (1995, color DVD) 29 min An imaginary biopic, THE BODY OF A POET centers on the efforts of a group of young lesbians of color to devise a fitting tribute to one of this century's great visionaries.
Brincando El Charco: Portrait of a Puerto Rican Frances Negrón-Muntaner *US (1994, Color/B/W, DVD) 55 min Refreshingly sophisticated in both form and content, BRINCANDO EL CHARCO contemplates the notion of “identity” through the experiences of a Puerto Rican woman living in the US.
Chasing the Moon Dawn Suggs *US (1990 b/w, 16mm) 4 mins. [TWN] Mediations of a black lesbian grappling with the memory of an attack that makers her wary about being out on the street.
Chocolate Babies Stephen Winter
Close to Home Rodney Evans (1998, Color) 24 min documents the filmmaker's journey as he comes out to a conservative, Jamaican family and negotiates a painful relationship with a 21-year old heterosexual man.
Club Q Aarin Burch (1991, color, video) 8 mins.
Colonial Gods Dee Rees US (2009, color video) 30 min A complicated friendship between a Somali man and Nigerian man unfolds against the chaos of gentrification and displacement in a small immigrant community in Cardiff, Wales known as Tiger Bay.
Complicated Flesh Cheryl Dunye and Kristina Deutsch (1993, color, video)14 mins.
A Cosmic Demonstration of Sexuality Shari Frilot (1993, color, video) 15 mins. [TWN] A humorous comparison between female sexuality and cosmic structures.
Creation of Destiny Christina Springer, (1993, color, 16mm) 57 mins.
Cutting the Edge of a Free Bird Anne Marie "Jade" Bryan (1993, color, 16mm) 17 mins. A short narrative which tells the story of an African American family's struggle to decide between a deaf or hearing college for their deaf lesbian daughter.
Dr. Al’s Rebels David Barclay Moore (2009, video short) 20 min Q. What happens when two Black men hook up? A. They start their own gay softball team of course! A portrait of a unique, extended family.
Dreaming Ourselves...Healing Darkness Cyrille Phipps (1995, color, video)
30 mins.
Dreams Deferred: The Sakia Gunn Film Project Charles B Brack & TWN (2008, color video) 58 min This documentary tells the little known story of Sakia Gunn, a 15 year old student who was fatally stabbed in a gay hate crime in Newark, New Jersey.
Dreams of Passion Aarin Burch (1989, color, 16mm) 5 mins. [WMM] An eloquent piece about intimacy and desire between two African American women.
The Edge of Each Other's Battles: The Vision of Audre Lorde Jennifer Abod *US (2002, Color DVD) 59 min This powerful documentary is a moving tribute to legendary black lesbian feminist poet Audre Lorde (1934-1992).
Family Faith Trimel
A Family Tradition Jacqueline Woodson and Catherine Saalfield (1995, color, video) 11 mins.
Father Knows Best Jocelyn Taylor (1990, color, video) 20 mins. A rare portrait of a Black lesbian speaking with her father about his feelings about her sexual orientation.
Fem Inge Blackman (2007, short video) 10 min
Finding Me
Firefly Dawn Suggs (1996, video, color) 10 mins. A grandmother recognizes her granddaughter's anguish, and provides her with the key to their family history.
Fly Boy Shari Frilot (1989,video) 7 mins.
Frankie & Jocie Jocelyn Taylor (1994, color, video) 18 mins. [TWN] An autobiographical examination of her complex relationship with her brother.
Friends & Lovers: The Ski Trip 2  Maurice Jamal US (2008, color, video) A comedy drama about three very different couples living in Los Angeles trying to make theirs lives complete
Gay Black Female Stephanie Wynne (1997 color, b&w) 30 mins. [GBF] A Gay Black Female searches for love in the personal ads and get more than she bargains for.
Hottentot Venus Gail Lloyd (1994, color, video) 7 mins. Focuses on Saartjie Baartman who became know as the Hottentot Venus as she was toured though Europe. Examines colonialism and the colonized "found object."
Human Touch: Power and Pain Vejan Lee Smith (1993, color, video) 30 mins. [TWN] Documents how survivors of sexual abuse reaffirm their sexuality and physical selves.
I Never Danced the Way Girls Were Supposed To Dawn Suggs (1992 color, b&w, video) 7 mins. [TWN] A fun and fresh exploration of the question, "What makes Black lesbians so special?"
I Object, Jocelyn Taylor with House of Color (1990, color, video) 5 mins. A commentary on the objectification and invisibility of lesbians and gays of color in dominant media.
I Remember Betty Michelle Parkerson (1987, color, 16 mm) 10 mins.
If I Wuz Yo Gyrl: An Experimental Work in Progress Coquie Hughes US (2003, video)  An intense pressure cooker drama that explores the roots and results of physical abuse as it relates to two lesbian couples.
If She Only Knew Stephanie Wynne (1998 , color, video) 30 mins.[GBF]A woman falls in love with the delivery boy and gets the shock of her life.
Ife H. Len Keller (1992, b/w, 16mm) 5 mins. [F]Chronicles one day in the life of a Black French lesbian.
In My Father's House Aishah Shahidah Simmons (1996, color, video) 10 mins. The filmmaker and her father remember her coming out process.
Introduction to Cultural Skit-zo-frenia, Jamika Ajalon (1993, color, video)10 mins. [TWN] Explores the raw-edge of being "Black enough" as a lesbian/gay of color.
I've Never, Pamela Jennings (1992, b/w, video) 6 mins. [VDB]Made in conjunction with Those Fluttering Objects of Desire, a coin operated installation conceived and produced by Shu Lea Cheang. The video deals with touch-bringing someone close while simultaneously pushing them away.
Keith and Greg (parts 1 & 2)
A Knock Out Tessa Boerman and Samuel Reiziger *Netherlands (2004, Color DVD) 53 min Boxing champion Michele Aboro grew up in South London, where life for a girl was never easy, let alone for a mixed-race lesbian girl. Thanks to her tenacious spirit and an uncanny talent for combat sports, she put her difficult past behind her and managed to sign a contract with the biggest boxing promoter in Europe.
Like a Prayer Jocelyn Taylor with DIVA TV (1991, color, video) 28 mins. A documentary of the ACT-UP and WHAM demonstration at St. Patrick's Cathedral on December 10, 1989.
Listen to the Hands of Our People Anne Marie "Jade" Bryan (1993, color, video) 57 mins. Focuses on the problems and concerns of deaf people living with AIDS.
Listening for Something: Adrienne Rich and Dionne Brand in Conversation  Dionne Brand *Canada (1996, Color VHS) 56 min This intriguing exchange between eminent American poet Adrienne Rich and Trinidadian-Canadian poet/filmmaker Dionne Brand, who share strong feminist and lesbian identities but are different in generation, race and class, invites viewers into the conversation and art of two remarkable women.
Loa Joshua Ian US (2009, color) Ayam, an aloof anthropology professor, is shaken up when his new student, Derren, wants to learn more than he's prepared to teach
Looking for LaBelle Jocelyn Taylor (1991, color & b/w, video) 5 mins. A three-way lesbian tryst, dinner and the music of La Belle.
A Luv Tale Sidra Smith (1998, color, 35mm) 45 min. [SSA]. A tender love packed, modern love story that proves two lives can change in a camera flash. Stars Gina Ravera and MC Lyte.
Ma Rainey’s Lesbian Licks: a future documentary about gays in the Harlem Renaissance
Me-Ba...I'm Coming: A Travelogue Kara Lynch (1997, video, color) A marathon bus ride between dusty Burkina Faso and lush Ghana is recreated by "the mulatress lesbian narrator-white black boy girl," an American tourist/outsider who recounts cutting her hair...and coming out in Africa.
Memory Tracks Jamika Ajalon (1996, color, video) 8 mins. [TWN] Staged on the streets of London in the imagination of a Black lesbian protagonist, the video seeks evidence of a sister spirit from the past.
Missing Relations Yvonne Welbon (1994, b/w, 16mm) 13 mins. [TWN] An experimental dramatic documentary which explores loss and denial in an African American family through the filmmaker's story of her kidnapped twin sisters, erased from family history for 24 years.
Mississippi Damned Tina Mabry
Mother's Hands Vejan Lee Smith (1992, color, video) 10 mins. [TWN]
A provocative experimental video depicting the trauma of emotional, physical and sexual abuse from a young girl's point of view.
Mumia Abu-Jamal: Facing the Death Penalty Cyrille Phipps with Paper Tiger TV (1995, color, video) 30 mins.
My Beautiful Laundrette Stephen Frears UK (1985, color) 97 min An ambitious Asian Briton and his white lover strive for success and hope, when they open up a glamorous laundromat.
My House Pamela Jennings (1993, Interactive computer media). A HyperCard programmed poem.
My Mama Said Yo Mama’s a Dyke Coquie Hughes US (2010, video) 80 min an urban "mockumentary" tale about a group of teens who become fed up with their lesbian moms so they decide to enlist them into this uncanny camp that specializes in "de-lesbianism".
My Tribe, Jamika Ajalon (1990, color, video).
Never Say Never Stephanie Wynne (1995, b&w, video) 10 mins. [GBF] A straight woman swears she could never love another woman but ends up eating her words.
The Nia Project: Images of African American Lesbians Mary Morten and Natalie Hutchinson (1993, color, video) 17 mins. Documents the lives and concerns of a range of Black lesbian women.
Night Trees Pamela Jennings (1993, Interactive computer media). A HyperCard programmed poem.
Nina’s Heavenly Delights Pratibha Parmar *UK (2006, color DVD) 94 min A feisty young woman returns to Glasgow to run her deceased father's curry house.  
No Ways Tired: Kathlyn Gilliam Q Ragsdale US (2009, DVD) a documentary series on little known local activists in the black community.
Noah's Arc Seasons 1 and 2 (television)
Now Pretend Leah Gilliam (1991, b/w, 16mm) 10 mins. [TWN] An experimental investigation of the pitfalls of identity politics and the use of race as an arbitrary signifier.
Of Men and Gods (2002, color, video) Anne Lescot, Laurence Magloire (Haiti) Documentary about homosexuality in Haiti, specially in the context of voodoo religion, where it is allowed.
On the Downlow Abigail Child (US) (2006, Color video) 54 min An intimate portrait of four men negotiating their bisexual desire within the African-American community of Cleveland, Ohio.
Orange Bow Dee Rees (2005, color video short), 14 min. Orange Bow chronicles the comically tedious journey of a Brooklyn teen to a neighborhood birthday party
Orientations Richard Fung Producer: Gay Asians Toronto (1985, Color) 56 min., Color
More than a dozen men and women of different Asian backgrounds speak frankly about their lives as members of a minority within a minority.
Our House: Gays and Lesbians in the Hood Cyrille Phipps with Not Channel Zero (1992, color, video) 21 mins. [TWN] Focuses on a range of African American gay and lesbian concerns, from outing to homophobia to alienation and discrimination within the black community.
Out in South Africa Barbara Hammer *US (1995, Color VHS) 51 min In 1994, Barbara Hammer was invited to South Africa to present a retrospective of her 77 films and videos at OUT IN SOUTH AFRICA, the first gay and lesbian film festival on the African continent.
Paradise Lost Campbell Ex (2002, video short) 24 min. A personal journey of discovery to the Caribbean exploring issues of homosexuality.
Pariah Dee Rees US (2007, color video short), 27 min. A lesbian teenager unsuccessfully juggles multiple identities to avoid rejection from her friends and family. Mounting pressure from home, school, and within wears the line between her personas thin with explosive consequences.
Pariah Dee Rees US (2011, color, video), 86 min. A Brooklyn teenager juggles conflicting identities and risks friendship, heartbreak, and family in a desperate search for sexual expression.
Probe Jocelyn Taylor with House of Color (1992, color, video) 20 mins.
A reflection on the identity and culture of lesbians and gays from various ethnic backgrounds.
Rag Tag (British)
Rashida X Stephanie Wynne (1997 , color, video) 15 mins.[GBF] Black Lesbian Revolutionary Rashida X, fights for civil rights and ends up in prison. Her spirit helps her survive until she is released.
Realness David Barclay Moore US (2009, video short) 10 min Tika is in the process of changing from woman to man.
Reina de Mi Misma (2009, color, video), 20 min Celiany Rivera-Vélazquez (P.R./Cuba) a documentary film exploring the feminist work of Krudas Cubensi, also known as Las Krudas, an all-women creative trio from Cuba.
Respect is Due Cyrille Phipps (1991, color, video) 10 mins. [TWN] Black youth examine the ways women of African descent are frequently portrayed in rap lyrics and music videos.
Road to Pride (2009, color, video) 50 min Lesedi Magoatlhe & Inger Smith (South Africa)
RuPaul’s Drag Race
Sapphire and the Slave Girl Leah Gilliam (1995, video) 18 mins. [TWN] In its genre-shifting historical schizophrenia, the video investigates racial passing, cross dressing, taboo sexualities and other transgressions of identity and location.
Sacred Lives, Civil Truths Cyrille Phipps and Catherine Saalfield (1993, color, video) 58 mins.
Shades Jamika Ajalon (1994, color, video) 13 mins. [TWN] Explores the issues of dark and light skin complexion in the African American community.
She Left the Script Behind Dawn Suggs (1993-4, color, 16mm) 7 mins. A scenario of a modern day plantation moves to city streets as a young Black actress resists the roles constructed for her.
Shock Treatment C.A. Griffith (1994, b/w, video) 35 mins.
Sightings H. Len Keller (1995, color, 16mm) 14 mins. [LAP] Offers a humorous look at single Black lesbians trying to connect romantically.
Silence...Broken Aishah Shahidah Simmons (1993, color, video) 8 mins. An experimental short about an African American lesbian's refusal to be silent about racism, sexism and homophobia.
The Silence that Allows Pamela Jennings (1990, color, video) 38 mins. [WMM] A visual poem comprised of journal writings, performance and images dealing with the influence of race and gender over the pursuit of desire.
Siren Spirits  Ngozi Onwurah, Pratibha Parmar, Frances-Anne Solomon, Dani Williamson * England (1994, Color DVD) 80 min SIREN SPIRITS is a wonderful feature comprising four short dramas directed by women of color, produced by Leda Serene for the British Film Institute and BBC Television.

Sisters in the Life: First Love Yvonne Welbon (1993, color, video) 23 mins. [TWN] A thirty-something Black lesbian reflects on falling for her best friend in junior high. Set in the 70s and 90s, this is a delightful tale of love and friendship.
The Ski Trip Maurice Jamal (2004, video, color)
Sleep Now Variations Pamela Jennings (1992, color, video) 5 mins. [TWN] A video poem based on Samuel Barber's musical adaptation of a poem by James Joyce; text quoted from Jeanette Winterson's novel, "Sexing the Cherry."
So I Didn't Believe Her C.A. Griffith (1995, b/w, video) 10 mins.
Sojourn Michelle Parkerson (1973, 16mm) 10 mins.
Solitaire, Pamela Jennings (1994, Interactive computer media). A variation on the card game solitaire. The complex narrative of the game develops around three books: Melancholy, Balance and Flight.
Spin Cycle Aarin Burch (1991, color, 16mm) 5 mins. [WMM] An autobiographical search in which a young African American lesbian filmmaker ruminates about her craft and her relationships.
Splash Thomas Allen Harris (1991, Color) 10 min Splash is a fable-like tale of memory and emotion. Using a range of e techniques, it deftly explores the interplay between identity, fantasy, gender, homosexual desire and pre-adolescence.
Stud Life Campbell Ex (2012, video color) JJ is a lesbian, and Seb, a gay man, is her best friend - they work together and play together. When JJ falls in love with a beautiful diva, JJ and Seb's friendship is tested. JJ is forced to choose between her hot new lover and her best friend.
This is My House Charlene Gilbert US (1995, color) 6 min This experimental short humorously and powerfully explores women's body imagery. A Black woman's body is defined and re-defined in her own voice, exploring the notions of beauty, power, gender, owner...
Tongues Untied: Still in Vogue John Dargan
Train Station Ta'Shia Asanti and Stephanie Wynne (1996, color and b&w, video) 18 mins.[GBF] Black Lesbian Love is found in a busy Train Station in the 1950's. But look out for the ex-lover who is still on the prowl.
U People  Hanifah Walidah/Olive Demetrius
What is a Line? Shari Frilot (1994, color, video) 10 mins. [TWN] Weaving the narrative of a jilted lover with footage of a train in motion, this video is a darkly comedic study of the physical, psychological and emotional dramas and convolutions jilted lovers go through.


Black Lesbian Film and Resource Guide  (compiled by Yvonne Welbon)

1 comment:

Blogger said...

Still not playing Solitaire on your mobile? Download The Coolest Version (Available for iOS and Android)