1 P.M. / $6 GENERAL / $5 SENIOR

Tuesday 2/4, 1 p.m. – Special Matinée Rate

Monday 2/24 – Regular Nacht Rate

“ [Oscar] Micheaux made roughly 44 films before his death in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1951. As director/producer, he financed those movies any way he could, including selling stock that was rarely repaid and promising investors he’d put their children in the films. His moviemaking technique boiled down to shooting one take and moving quickly to the next. One of his biographers said he “made movies like a man running from a subpoena, which he was.”
While Micheaux’s films were rough-hewn, they featured corrupt clergymen, interracial marriage, lynching, racial pride and self-hatred, themes that resonated with his audience. ” – Bill Higgins, The Hollywood Reporter

“ He made you want to soak up the exuberance he clearly felt in delivering a whole new way of telling stories…
Women could be damsels in distress, intelligent enough to plot and scheme, and were able to recreate the feel of a black-and-tan show on black-and-white film. Men were rugged and sometimes flawed but rarely surrendered their masculinity for comedic effect.
The performances were rollicking good, and they concealed the fact that Micheaux was essentially an outsider artist as filmmaker, prefiguring today’s independent black producer-directors like Spike Lee and Tyler Perry. He was a gifted visionary, with an eye for talent, evinced by decisions like casting the dazzling stage actor Paul Robeson in his first role on the big screen. His films depicted the basic humanity of black characters wrestling with issues like racial ambiguity, while at the same time countering the racist tropes in works like D. W. Griffith’s “The Birth of a Nation” (1915). ” – Monica Drake, The New York Times





1 hour &
24 minutes


this motion picture is silent

In this early silent film from pioneering director Oscar Micheaux, kindly Sylvia Landry (Flo Clements) takes a fundraising trip to Boston in hopes of collecting $5,000 to keep a Southern school for impoverished black children open to the public. She then meets the warmhearted Dr. Vivian (William Smith), who falls in love with Sylvia and travels with her back to the South. There, Dr. Vivian learns about Sylvia’s shocking, tragic past and realizes that racism has changed her life forever. (Central Cinema)

“ Crammed into 80 minutes is a complex plot of love, betrayal, murder, rape, lynching, gambling, miscegenation, racial uplift, white bigotry, and black migration from the rural South to the urban North. Translated onto film are the hardships of blacks in the Jim Crow era United States, the promises and disappointments of black freedom, and the emergence of the “New Negro.” The film is one of the earliest examples, and certainly the most ambitious extant example, of black appropriation of the emerging technology to contest representations of African Americans in mass culture. ” (W. Fitzhugh Brundage, Perspectives On History, American Historical Association)

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