Every day is a good day to enjoy Black cinema, and today (yes, right now!) is an especially good one, as many distributors have made key films from the Black canon available for free, in support of the ongoing and historic protests opposing police violence against the Black community.
These films cover a wide range of styles, tones, and themes, but are held together by their shared emphasis on the centrality, beauty, and struggles of Black life. Though they represent only a small fraction of this rich canon, we hope you can find a new title or two amongst these offerings, and maybe feel inspired to take a deeper dive!
Join us at the Indy Fringe Pocket Park for Liberty and Justice for All? – a series of 3 documentaries & conversation and film series on race and racism, curated and moderated by Clayton Hamilton. Admission is free, popcorn & drinks are available for pre-order. Seats are limited and well-spaced.
The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show
n 1968, entertainer and activist Harry Belafonte took over “The Tonight Show” for one historic week, introducing a fractured, changing country to itself alongside legendary guests like Aretha Franklin and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Available for free on Peacock.
A Most Beautiful Thing
Although many were from rival gangs, members of the first Black American high school crew team came together to row in the same boat; they found safety on the water, away from the trauma of violence and cyclical poverty.
Available for free on Peacock.
Freedom Summer: Made Available to Watch for Free by PBS
In 1964, less than 7% of Mississippi’s African Americans were registered to vote. In many rural counties, African Americans made up the majority of the population and the segregationist white establishment was prepared to use any means necessary to keep them away from the polls and out of elected office. For years, local civil rights workers had tried to increase voter registration amongst African Americans. Those who wished to vote had to face the local registrar, an all-powerful white functionary who would often publish their names in the paper and pass the word on to their employers and bankers. And if loss of jobs and the threat of violence wasn’t enough to dissuade them, the complex and arcane testing policies were certain to keep them off the rolls.
Change requires action by every single person. We each must act to create the change we want to see. One way is to exercise our privilege and responsibility to vote. Register to vote. Be informed about the candidates. And on November 3rd, VOTE.
Available Now on Kan-Kan On-Demand
Additional 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.
Friend of Kan-Kan, Windsor Park neighbor, and Masters of Film Studies Coye Lloyd gives us “A Jumping Off Point” for Black Cinema – a beautiful and essential tribute to Blackness in cinema, with a full range of film recommendations!
Black Lives – The Criterion Channel
The Criterion Channel has created a collection of films focusing on the dreams, struggles, desires, and art of black characters and real-life subjects.
“Black Lives Matter, and art has a role to play in centering and celebrating the experiences of black people… From rediscovered gems by mavericks of early African American cinema like Oscar Micheaux and Spencer Williams, to independent-film landmarks by Charles Burnett and Julie Dash, to documentary portraits of black artists by white filmmakers Les Blank and Shirley Clarke, to innovative contemporary work by Khalik Allah, these films offer an invitation to reflect on the resilience and creativity of black individuals and communities in the United States and beyond.”
Criterion Channel subscribers can check out the films below!