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Pioneers of African American Cinema (5 Discs) [Blu-ray]
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This collection of the historically vital works of America's legendary first African-American filmmakers is the only one of its kind. Funded in part by a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, the packaged set includes no fewer than a dozen feature-length films and nearly twice as many shorts and rare fragments. Subject matter includes race issues that went unaddressed by Hollywood for decades.
Films: Birthright (1938), The Blood of Jesus (1941), Body and Soul (1925), The Bronze Buckaroo (1939), By Right of Birth (fragment, 1921), Commandment Keeper Church, Beaufort, South Carolina (excerpt, 1940), The Darktown Revue (1931), Dirty Gertie from Harlem USA (1946), Eleven P.M. (1930), The Exile (1931), The Flying Ace (1926), God s Stepchildren (1938), Heaven-Bound Traveler (1933), Hellbound Train (1930), Hot Biskits (1931), Mercy the Mummy Mumbled (1918), Regeneration (fragment, 1923), The Scar of Shame (1929), S.S. Jones Home Movies (1924-26), The Symbol of the Unconquered: A Story of the KKK (1920), Ten Minutes to Live (1932), Ten Nights in a Bar Room (1926), Two Knights of Vaudeville (1918), Veiled Aristocrats (1932), Verdict Not Guilty (1934), We Work Again (1937), Within Our Gates (1920)
Musical scores (for silent films) by Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky), Max Roach, Samuel D. Waymon, the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, Donald Sosin, Makia Matsumura, Alloy Orchestra, Rob Gal, Andrew Simpson
Bonus Features: Optional English Subtitles, 80-page booklet with essays and detailed film notes, Interviews with series curators Charles Musser and Jacqueline Stewart, Documentary on the restoration of the films, Documentary on the restoration efforts of the Library of Congress, Archival interview with actors Ethel and Lucia Moses (1978), Tyler Texas Black Film Collection promo film (with Ossie Davis, 1985) and more!
"One of the year s most exciting and historically significant archival projects, Kino Lorber s Pioneers of African American Cinema collects nearly 20 hours of feature films and short subjects created by and starring entrepreneurial black entertainers between the 20s and 40s. These race films run the gamut from musicals to melodramas to westerns, and showcase the talents of American masters such as Oscar Micheaux, Spencer Williams, Paul Robeson and Zora Neale Hurston. Given that most of these pictures played well outside any kind of traditional distribution system, they ve always been in danger of getting lost, which makes the preservation efforts behind this set all the more heroic. These are important documents of a truly independent cinema, produced outside of a Hollywood that had little interest in what these artists had to offer." -Noel Murray --LATimes.com