by LaShawn Williams.
Very often, when the history of black cinema is discussed, typically, images of a certain kind of film, specifically, “Blaxploitation,” immediately come to mind. However, for a group of aspiring black filmmakers in the 70s at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television, it would become necessary to showcase a more realistic portrayal of African-American life on screen. This group, referred to as the L.A. Rebellion, embarked on a mission to show a different side of black filmmaking, with content that featured “social and cultural dynamics” as well as “black activism and militancy, everyday life and spirituality,” that reflected lives in black communities everywhere.
The touring film series, L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema, hit Chicago in late April; the 12-part series, presented by Block Cinema at Northwestern University, Conversations at the Edge at the School of the Art Institute and the Film Studies Center at University of Chicago, features film screenings and shorts, as well as post Q&As and appearances by acclaimed filmmakers. Here, co-curator and Northwestern University Associate Professor, Jacqueline Stewart, talks about the significance of this cinematic series and its cultural impact.
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