Black Is . . . Black Ain’t

Film - Feature | September 19 | 7 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Black Is . . . Black Ain’t is Marlon Riggs’s bold and richly textured exploration of black American identity. In this final work (completed by colleagues after his death), Riggs shows how this issue has shaped relationships among African Americans, and how people who haven’t “fit” because of color, region, sexuality, gender, even speech, have felt excluded. Commentary includes cultural critics Angela Davis, bell hooks, Michele Wallace, Barbara Smith, and Cornel West; performances by Essex Hemphill and choreographer Bill T. Jones; and remembrances of African Americans from all walks of life. A critique of patriarchy and homophobia emerges as a central focus. When AIDS forces his hospitalization, Riggs’s struggle with his impending death makes his call for a more inclusive African American community all the more urgent.