*San Francisco, California – Fandor, the premiere streaming service dedicated to independent and classic film, is celebrating Black History Month with a curated collection of insightful and educational Black American cinema, showcasing well-crafted narratives, documentaries on unsung heroes and shorts by prolific African-American directors.
The collection strays from the familiar and focuses on lesser-known works that offer unique and sometimes gritty views of a truly American experience.
A few of the films highlighted in this collection include:
Directed by Tim Sutton
A hit on the festival circuit in 2013, Memphis follows an artist (Willis Earl Beal) as he wanders around the mythic city of Memphis.
GANJA AND HESS (1973)
Directed by Bill Gunn
Bill Gunn’s Ganja and Hess deftly mixes the blaxploitation and horror genres, providing inspiration for Spike Lee’s latest offering Da Sweet Blood of Jesus.
BROTHER OUTSIDER (2002)
Directed by Nancy Kates and Bennett Singer
Brother Outsider honors the unsung Civil Rights legend Bayard Rustin (portrayed as Ruben Santiago Jr. in Ava DuVernay’s film Selma), who organized the march on Washington and just so happened to be gay.
BLACK ROOTS (1970)
Directed by Lionel Rogosin
After making On the Bowery and Come Back Africa, Lionel Rogosin decided to take the fight for equality to his homeland, documenting Black life in the 1970s.
SOLOMON NORTHUP’S ODYSSEY (1984)
Directed by Gordon Parks
Before 12 Years a Slave, Gordon Parks made Solomon Northup’s Odyssey; an unbelievable but very real story about a free man who spent years in captivity.
JAMES BALDWIN: THE PRICE OF THE TICKET (1990)
Directed by Karen Thorsen
James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket offers a moving tribute to one of the most prolific authors of the Twentieth century.
THE JENA 6 (2007)
Directed by Kouross Esmaeli, Rick Rowley and Jacqueline Soohen
Serving as an all too real precursor in light of the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and countless others, The Jena 6 documents the protests around the injustice of six black students in Jena, Louisiana.
A BAND CALLED DEATH (2012)
Directed by Mark Christopher Covino and Jeff Howlett
A Band Called Death chronicles a group of trailblazing brothers credited as the first black punk band, hell…the first punk band!
THE WATERMELON WOMAN (1997)
Directed by Cheryl Dunye
Controversial as it is sexy and funny, Cheryl Dunye’s debut feature delves into the complexities of being Black and lesbian in a 90s kind of world.
TONGUES UNTIED (1989)
Directed by Marlon Riggs
Marlon Riggs’ Tongues Untied gives voice to communities of black gay men as they confront the intersections of racism and homophobia.
SIDEWALK STORIES (1989)
Directed by Charles Lane
The rarely seen Sidewalk Stories (Charles Lane) is a slapstick homage to Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid.
Directed by Lance Hammer
Winner of the Dramatic Excellence in Cinematography and Directing Award at Sundance in 2008, Ballast follows a mother and her son struggling to survive in a small Mississippi Delta township.
The full collection of highlighted films can be explored HERE and all of these films and more are available to stream instantly any time on Fandor.
Fandor’s mission is to create a community of film lovers and makers connected by meaningful and entertaining cinematic experiences. Fandor is the home of thousands of handpicked, award winning films from around the world, of all lengths and genres. By investing in strategic partnerships with festivals (F|FA) and individual filmmakers (FIX) Fandor is generating greater opportunities for filmmakers, while their member-based service reaches audiences through TV set-top, desktop, and mobile devices, as well as through Keyframe, Fandor’s digital film art and culture magazine. Fandor supports great cinema by investing half of all membership fees back to the films watched.
Jon Stone, Think Jam