Films Made Available to Watch for Free in Support of Black Filmmakers and Voices

Films & series from the 1920s through the 2020s have been made available to watch at no cost to you.

Please let us know if you notice any offerings that you believe should be included on this list.

Documentaries Narratives Series

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Combining archival footage with testimony from activists and scholars, director Ava DuVernay’s examination of the U.S. prison system looks at how the country’s history of racial inequality drives the high rate of incarceration in America.

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Richard Rowley’s 2019 documentary examines the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was shot to death by a Chicago police officer later convicted of second-degree murder.

Free to stream on YouTube, courtesy of Showtime.

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Academy Award nominated filmmaker Steve James (Hoop Dreams, Life Itself) examines racial, economic and class issues in contemporary American education in the multipart unscripted documentary series “America to Me.”

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On April 29, 1992, Los Angeles exploded when four police officers were acquitted in the beating of Rodney King. But the city had been smoldering for years. This provocative documentary looks at how decades of racial tensions, injustice and a troubled relationship between the LAPD and the African-American community led to the uprising. Local residents, artists and community organizers share firsthand accounts of police brutality, the ‘65 Watts riots, the rise of LA street gangs and the ‘92 incident.

Now free to stream on YouTube courtesy of Showtime.

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Alfre Woodard leaves the big city behind and heads down south to save her family in this heartfelt film directed by Maya Angelou.

“On the Criterion Channel, we’re highlighting films that focus on Black Lives, and have taken down the paywall on as many of these titles as we can, so even if you aren’t a subscriber you can watch them for free.”

Check out the Criterion Channel’s homepage for additional free titles.

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Horror Noire features interviews with filmmakers and scholars, showcasing a who’s who of black horror cinema, from those who survived the genre’s past trends to those shaping its future.

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Follow the journey of civil rights hero, congressman, and human rights champion John Lewis.

PBS has made the documentary available for free on its website through July 6.

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One night, in front of a bodega in Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy neighborhood, Manny Ortega witnesses a white police officer wrongfully gun down a neighborhood street hustler, and Manny films the incident on his phone. Now he’s faced with a dilemma: release the video and bring unwanted exposure to himself and his family, or keep the video private and be complicit in the injustice? With a deep sense of humanity and a deft directorial hand, Reinaldo Marcus Green smartly reformulates the traditional construction of “protagonist” to magnify the power of perspective.

“At this critical time, we are postponing the promotion of our new films and dedicating all efforts to amplify black voices. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be making NEON films directed by black filmmakers available to watch for free.”

Courtesy of director Reinaldo Marcus Green, his debut feature, Monsters and Men, is the first film in this series.

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In this two night series, Oprah Winfrey leads the conversation speaking directly with Black thought leaders, activists and artists about systematic racism and the current state of America. Featured guests include:  Stacey Abrams, Charles M. Blow, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Ava DuVernay, Jennifer Eberhardt, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Ibram X. Kendi, David Oyelowo, Rashad Robinson and Bishop William J. Barber II.

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