Black Hollywood: Blaxploitation and Advancing an Independent Black Cinema

75mins1984DocumentaryTVPG
director
Howard Johnson
starring
Alfre WoodardLorenzo TuckerVincent TubbsD?Urville MartinJoel FluellenPaul MooneySidney PoitierVonetta McGeeDiahnne AbbottOscar WilliamsRosalind CashJim Brown
Shot in Hollywood in 1984, this groundbreaking and action-packed documentary uses extensive film excerpts, rare archival material, location footage, and informative interviews to explore the role of black actors, black directors and black audiences in American movies. In the early 1980s, hip hop and breakdancing had just been born, and Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor were the only two black stars on top. Actors Diahnne Abbott (Taxi Driver), Rosalind Cash (Uptown Saturday Night) and Oscar nominee Alfre Woodard (12 Years a Slave) discuss negative stereotyping; actors Jim Brown (Slaughter), Vonetta McGee (Blacula) and D'Urville Martin (Dolemite) talk about alternative solutions to the one-way-street that was "blaxploitation" movies. There is also a rare interview with Lorenzo Tucker, known as "The Black Valentino"; and actor Joel Fluellen (A Raisin in the Sun) and publicist Vincent Tubbs share stories of what life was like for the few blacks working in Hollywood in the 1950s and '60s. Using Grandmaster Flash's iconic "The Message" as its theme song, BLACK HOLLYWOOD: BLAXPLOITATION AND ADVANCING AN INDEPENDENT BLACK CINEMA also features writer/producer Oscar Williams (Black Belt Jones), actor Richard Roundtree (Shaft), comedian Paul Mooney (In Living Color), singer/activist Harry Belafonte (Carmen Jones), and Oscar winner Sidney Poitier (Guess Who's Coming to Dinner).
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A powerful, emotional and relevant reminder of the heartbreaking toll war takes on the innocent, this award-winning documentary tells the story of the Japanese invasion of Nanking, China, in the early days of World War II. As part of a campaign to conquer all of China, the Japanese subjected Nanking?which was then China's capital?to months of aerial bombardment, and when the city fell, the Japanese army unleashed murder and rape on a horrifying scale. In the midst of the rampage, a small group of Westerners banded together to establish a Safety Zone where over 200,000 Chinese found refuge. Unarmed, these missionaries, university professors, doctors and businessmen?including a Nazi named John Rabe?bore witness to the events, while risking their own lives to protect civilians from slaughter. The story is told through deeply moving interviews with Chinese survivors, chilling archival footage and photos, testimonies of former Japanese soldiers?and a staged reading of the Westerners' letters and diaries by Woody Harrelson, Mariel Hemingway, Jurgen Prochnow and others. NANKING is a testament to the courage and conviction of individuals who were determined to act in the face of evil and a powerful tribute to the resilience of the Chinese people?a gripping account of light in the darkest of times. This version of the film features descriptive narration for the blind and visually impaired, created by the Narrative Television Network.
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Nanking - Narrated