Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director

BLACK IS...BLACK AIN'T

USA, 1995 (MIFF 1995, Documentaries)

Director: Marlon T Riggs

Award-winning director of Tongues Untied (MIFF 92) and Colour Adjustment (MIFF 93) Marlon Riggs' final work is an eloquent and passionate exploration of the complex shifting nature of African-American consciousness 'What is Black?', 'Not Black Enough?' 'Too Black?', what happens to issues of culture, gender and class in the quest for unity? Sparkling with intellectual vigour, this exceptional documentary challenges the simple manifestations of identity politics, provoking rather than resolving the question of whether blackness can be reduced to a unitary core experience which all African-Americans can eagerly aspire to, if not share.

A blend of biographical profiles music and per­formance, archival images, confessions, skits, folk stories and personal narratives, Riggs likens his visual style to his grandmothers quilts, the linking thread being the director's own encounters with alienation due to colour, class, sexuality and ulti­mately HIV-positive status. Completed posthu­mously by the director's colleagues, Nicole Atkinson and Christine Badgley, the film takes on the added dimensions of a personal odyssey as Riggs becomes an onscreen character-usually seen or heard from his hospital bed.

An insightful exploration of the convoluted nature of self as well as a confronting legacy for the black communities, Black Is Black Ain't is a powerful epitaph for a life-affirming and talented filmmaker.

See also...

ANNE FRANK REMEMBERED

UK, 1995
... ... Anne Frank has been described as one of the "major icons of the twentieth century" with her diary the second most-read book of Western non-fiction after the bible. ... ... ... Jon Blair's fil… More »

CARMEN MIRANDA: BANANAS IS MY BUSINESS

USA/Brazil, 1995
... ... Of all the Hollywood glamour girls to be res­urrected, the reappraisal of Carmen Miran­da has been a long time coming. Helena Solberg, known for her streetwise documen­taries abou… More »

CRUMB

USA, 1994
... ... Offensively pornographic, objectionably misogynist, or "the Breughel of the twenti­eth century"?, David Lynch presents a tour de force of film portraiture, an alternately hilarious and di… More »

THE DEVIL NEVER SLEEPS

USA/Mexico, 1994
It all begins when Luli's favourite uncle Oscar dies under mysterious circumstances in Mexi­co. Luli, aka writer-director Lourdes Portillo heads south in search of some answers. What we get is a … More »

FRANK & OLLIE

USA, 1994
... ... The Walt Disney Company became the embodiment of family entertainment with its classic animated features during the 1930s, '40s and '50s. This team of creative artists trans­formed what h… More »

© Melbourne International Film Festival 2013.

Site by MeccaMedialight. Powered by Textstem CMS.