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Indiana University Bloomington

Black Film Center/Archive College of Arts and Sciences


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The BFC/A General Film Collection includes a number of important films spanning the century, made by independent black and white filmmakers. Among these are:

  • Scar of Shame (1927), by The Colored Players of Philadelphia, a silent melodrama about the effects of class and caste on the marriage of a concert pianist and a poor, lower class young woman.
  • God's Stepchildren (1938), dramatizing the issues of passing and intra-racial hierarchies, was written, produced, and directed by Oscar Micheaux, the most prolific of the early independent filmmakers.
  • The Blood of Jesus (1941), an important representation of black religious music and doctrine by black director, writer, actor Spencer Williams.
  • Let the Church Say Amen (1972), by St. Clair Bourne, exploring the effects of the black church on the community through the experiences of a seminary student.
  • Killer of Sheep (1977), by Charles Burnett, about an impoverished black man's struggle for a better future for his family.
  • A Different Image (1981), by Alile Sharon Larkin, depicting the development of a young black woman's consciousness.
  • Illusions (1982), Julie Dash's exploration of the illusions perpetuated by the Hollywood studio system.
  • Tongues Untied (1986), produced by Marlon Riggs, documenting the consciousness-awakening experiences of black gay men.
  • Cycles (1989), Zeinabu irene Davis' short film about a woman's biological and metaphysical cycles.
  • Zajota and the Boogie Spirit (1989), an animated short chronicling black empowerment through music and dance from precontact Africa to contemporary America.
  • Finding Christa (1992), Camille Billops' documentary drama about rediscovering the daughter she gave up for adoption.

In addition to independent films in the BFC/A, the holdings include many contemporary Hollywood films, as well as Blaxploitation era films.

Also, see a list of our latest acquisitions.