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African Americans in Film

The Directors. The Films of Spike Lee.

Through in-depth interviews, behind the scenes footage andclips from his films, Spike Lee talks about the ideas, influences,motivations, struggles and successes behind his work. "I have beenblessed with the opportunity to express the views of black peoplewho otherwise don't have access to power and the media. I have totake advantage of that while I am still bankable." 1997. 60 min.

The Feast of All Saints (TV, 2001)

Directed by Peter Medak. Cast: Robert Ri'chard, Ben Vereen,Ossie Davis, Jennifer Beals, Ruby Dee, James Earl Jones, EarthaKitt, Forest Whitaker. Set in nineteenth-century New Orleans, thistelevision mini-series depicts the gens de couleur libre, or theFree People of Colour, a dazzling yet damned class caught betweenthe world of white privilege and black oppression. Based on thenovel by Anne Rice. 212 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

The French Way (Fausse Alerte) (1940)

Director, Jacques de Baroncelli. Cast: Josephine Baker, Micheline Presle, George Marchal, Raymond Aimos, Jean Tissier, Gabrielle Dorziat, Saturnin Fabre, Marguerite Perry, Lucien Baroux. A rare wartime musical comedy featuring Josephine Bakeras a Parisian cabaret singer who assists two lovers in the face of their parents' disapproval while trying to re-open her nightclub. Includes Baker and chorus girls in cabaret rehearsals and performances. 74 min.
Credits andother information from the Internet Movie Database

The Girl from Chicago (1932)

One of Oscar Micheaux's most famous films.Starring Carl Mahon as Alonzo Smith, a youngsecret service agent, who falls in love with aschool teacher, Norma, in a small Mississippitown. Later in New York, Alonzo has to saveNorma's friend Mary from the numbers racket andis accused of murder. 69 min. ;
Credits and other information from the InternetMovie Database

The Glass Shield (1994)

Written and directed by Charles Burnett. Cast: RichardAnderson, Michael Boatman, Bernie Casey, Elliott Gould, Don Harvey,Ice Cube, Michael Ironside, Natalija Nogulich, Lori Petty, M. EmmetWalsh, Gary Wood. In this action thriller, an ambitious rookie copand his station's only female deputy uncover widespread corruptionand conspiracy when they realize that an innocent man has beenjailed for murder.

The Great Debaters (2007)

Directed by Denzel Washington. Cast: Denzel Washington, ForestWhitaker, Nate Parker, Jurnee Smollett, Denzel Whitaker, JohnHeard, Kimberly Elise. Melvin B. Tolson is a professor at WileyCollege in Texas. Wiley is a small African-American college. In1935, Tolson inspired students to form the school's first debateteam. Tolson turns a group of underdog students into a historicallyelite debate team which goes on to challenge Harvard in thenational championship. Inspired by a true story.

The Great White Hope (1970)

Directed by Martin Ritt. Cast: James Earl Jones, JaneAlexander, Lou Gilbert, Joel Fluellen, Chester Morris. Based on thelife of African American boxer Jack Johnson, this fictional accountof his rise to fame chronicles the battles that the flamboyantchampion fought in and out of the ring. Refusing to live within theboundaries deemed acceptable by society, this renowned hero and thewoman he loved chose to live their lives the way they wanted--something which evoked great fury from a narrow-minded world. 102min.

The Green Mile (1999)

Directed by Frank Darabont. Cast: Tom Hanks, David Morse,Bonnie Hunt, Michael Clarke Duncan, James Cromwell, MichaelJeter, Graham Greene, Doug Hutchison, Sam Rockwell, BarryPepper, Jeffrey DeMunn, Patricia Clarkson, Harry Dean Stanton.Death Row guards at a penitentiary, in the 1930's, have a moraldilemma with their job when they discover one of theirprisoners, a convicted murderer, has the power of faith healingand is able to perform what seem to be miracles of healingamong his fellow inmates. 188 min.

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