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Interviews

February 22, 2021

Who Was Mr. SOUL?

Craig Phillips in Beyond the Films

If you're of a certain generation and familiar at all with the late '60s and early '70s groundbreaking public TV show SOUL!, you may recognize the name Ellis Haizlip, but…...

Ellis Haizlip on the set of SOUL! withEllis Haizlip on the set of SOUL! with the band Mandrill the band Mandrill; Photo by Alex Harsley
Beyond the Films

February 17, 2021

Listen Up: How Music Was the Heart of SOUL!

Independent Lens in Beyond the Films

by Nick Dedina Today we take it for granted that Black culture is mainstream American culture. But, before the age of hip-hop, cable TV, the internet, streaming, and mobile phones,…...

On the set of SOUL! with Ellis Haizlip interviewing Melvin Van Peebles [Credit: Chester Higgins]
Beyond the Films

February 09, 2021

How SOUL! Helped Pave the Way for Black Cultural Programming

Independent Lens in Beyond the Films

By Ade D. Adeniji Mr. SOUL! explores America’s first Black variety television show SOUL!, which ran from 1968 to 1973, and was steered by pioneering Black producer and host Ellis…...

Lynching scene in Within Our Gates (by Oscar Micheaux)
Beyond the Films

February 20, 2020

As American as the Blues: Lynching in Film and TV

Independent Lens in Beyond the Films

By Ade Adeniji Always in Season explores the history of lynching through the mysterious 2014 death of Lennon Lacy while also looking at historical reenactments of lynching, prompting some to…...

Filmmaker Jacqueline Olive
Interviews

February 20, 2020

Filmmaker Explores First Steps Toward Justice and Reconciliation

Craig Phillips in Behind the Films

Independent filmmaker Jacqueline Olive, who has worked in non-fiction filmmaking for years and co-directed and co-produced the award-winning hour-long documentary, Black to Our Roots (PBS WORLD), makes her feature documentary…...

Singer Billie Holiday
Beyond the Films

February 19, 2020

Billie Holiday’s Searing “Strange Fruit” Still Has the Power to Startle

Independent Lens in Beyond the Films

By Nick Dedina There are often false narratives we tell ourselves so that we can simplify, and beautify, the past and erase aspects of the present that we are uncomfortable…...

Black memorabilia figurines
Interviews

January 30, 2019

The Challenge of Making a Film About Racist Relics

Craig Phillips in Interviews

Filmmaker and teacher Chico Colvard's first feature doc, Family Affair, premiered at Sundance and was the first film acquired by Oprah Winfrey for her cable channel, OWN. The searingly personal documentary explored…...

An HBCU student tears up at his graduation, from Tell Them We Are Rising
Beyond the Films

February 14, 2018

HBCU Grads Share Their Stories of Campus Life

Craig Phillips in Beyond the Films

Graduates of Historic Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are proud alums, and in connection with the Independent Lens film Tell Them We Are Rising, which tells the 170 years—and rising—history of…...

James Baldwin on the Dick Cavett Show
Interviews

January 10, 2018

How “I Am Not Your Negro” Filmmaker Reopened James Baldwin’s “House”

Craig Phillips in Interviews

The worldly Haitian-born filmmaker Raoul Peck and his family fled the Duvalier dictatorship in 1961 and found asylum in the Democratic Republic of Congo, before Peck finished his schooling in…...

Black Panthers exiting building armed with rifles.
Interviews

February 11, 2016

Stanley Nelson Reveals the Real Black Panther Party

Craig Phillips in Interviews

Filmmaker Stanley Nelson, who won an Emmy for the PBS documentary The Murder of Emmett Till, three Emmys for Freedom Riders, and made an acclaimed film about Marcus Garvey, has for years…...

Ballerinas Raven Wilkinson and Misty Copeland hold hands.
Beyond the Films

February 04, 2016

Breaking Barriers on Stage: African American Ballet Dancers Who Made History

Craig Phillips in Beyond the Films

As we learn in A Ballerina's Tale, Nelson George's new documentary about Misty Copeland [February 8; check local listings], Eurocentric standards of body shape, muscle tone, and skin color excluded…...

Archival family photo from the Digital Diaspora Family Roadsow

February 16, 2015

Black Family History Through a Lens

Craig Phillips in Uncategorized

A wonderful companion piece to Thomas Allen Harris's new film Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People is his Digital Diaspora Family Reunion project — a roadshow connecting communities and…...