These cinematic jewels offer a delightful alternative from routine Hollywood fare. Check your local video store or library for film availability. For additional films, see page 138 in the April issue of Essence.
Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony (South Africa, 2003) The late composer and activist Vuyisile Mini is just one of the many musicians whose work makes up the soundtrack for the struggle against apartheid in South Africa in this powerful documentary.
Brother From Another Planet (1984) Pursued across space by bounty hunters, an extraterrestrial fugitive finds refuge in Harlem.
Eve’s Bayou (1997) A ten-year-old girl narrates in this story of the secrets and lies that tear at the relationships in an affluent Black Louisiana family.
Just Another Girl on the IRT (1992) An ambitious New York City teenager dreams of medical school but her aspirations are dashed when she becomes pregnant.
Killer of Sheep (1977) In the first feature film by acclaimed director Charles Burnett, a slaughterhouse employee struggles for a better life.
The Murder of Emmett Till (2003) This documentary examines the death of the 14-year-old boy who was brutally murdered for whistling at a white woman in 1950s Mississippi.
Nothing But a Man (1963) A young railroad worker struggles to overcome the frustrations and disappointments that affect his relationship with his wife.
Putney Swope (1969) Events unravel in this satirical look at an African-American employee who is accidentally elected to head a New York advertising firm.
The Spook Who Sat by the Door (1973) This satire, based on the novel by Sam Greenlee, follows a disillusioned CIA employee who drops out of the agency to become a Black freedom fighter.
Watermelon Woman (1996) This “mockumentary” tells the story of a lesbian filmmaker whose research about an imaginary black actress examines stereotypes and pushes her relationships with her lover, friends and family.