For Immediate Release
August 23, 2023
CLARK ART INSTITUTE PRESENTS FILM SERIES
EXAMINING THE L.A. REBELLION
Presented in conjunction with the Clark Research and Academic Program 2023 Conference
Williamstown, Massachusetts—In celebration and anticipation of the Clark Art Institute’s 2023 Conference, “The Fetish A(r)t Work: African Objects in the Making of European Art History, 1500–1900,” the Clark presents a four-part film series drawing from the Los Angeles School of Black Filmmakers, better known as the L.A. Rebellion film movement. Starting in the late 1960s in Los Angeles, especially in and around the University of California (UCLA) Film School, a group of Black filmmakers began exploring alternatives to the film industry, eschewing Hollywood patterns and embracing international influences, ethnographic study, and African history and mythology. The Clark screens Killer of Sheep on September 21, Bless Their Little Hearts on September 28, Daughters of the Dust on October 5, and Sankofa on October 12. All showings begin at 6 pm in the Clark’s auditorium, located in the Manton Research Center.
Killer of Sheep (directed by Charles Burnett; 1977)
Thursday, September 21
His dispiriting job in a slaughterhouse wears Stan (Henry Gayle Sanders) down, alienates him from his family, and becomes an unspoken metaphor for the ongoing pressures of economic malaise. (Run time: 1 hour, 21 minutes)
Bless Their Little Hearts (directed by Billy Woodberry; 1984)
Thursday, September 28
This film represents the closure and pinnacle of a neorealist strand within the L.A. Rebellion, chronicling the devastating effects of underemployment on a family in the same Los Angeles community depicted in Killer of Sheep. (Run time: 1 hour, 24 minutes)
Daughters of the Dust (directed by Julie Dash; 1991)
Thursday, October 5
The first American feature directed by an African American woman to receive a general theatrical release, Daughters of the Dust is set in 1902 and tells the story of a “Gullah” family, descendants of African captives who escaped the slave trade to live on islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia. Here, many members of the Peazant family are on the verge of a planned migration to the United States. A brilliant cast does justice to the decision the Peazants face: to embrace or abandon the land their ancestors fled. (Run time: 1 hour, 52 minutes)
Sankofa (directed by Haile Gerima; 1993)
Thursday, October 12
This film was developed from twenty years of research into the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the experiences of African slaves in the New World. Sankofa presents the often-suppressed history of slave resistance and rebellion and represents the enslaved as agents of their own liberation. The film’s narrative structure follows the concept of “Sankofa,” an Akan word that signifies the recuperation of one’s past in order to comprehend the present and find one’s future. (Run time: 2 hours, 4 minutes)
All screenings are free. For more information, visit clarkart.edu/events.
ABOUT THE CLARK
The Clark Art Institute, located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Opened in 1955, the Clark houses exceptional European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography. Acting as convener through its Research and Academic Program, the Clark gathers an international community of scholars to participate in a lively program of conferences, colloquia, and workshops on topics of vital importance to the visual arts. The Clark library, consisting of some 300,000 volumes, is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries. The Clark also houses and co-sponsors the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.
The Clark, which has a three-star rating in the Michelin Green Guide, is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Its 140-acre campus includes miles of hiking and walking trails through woodlands and meadows, providing an exceptional experience of art in nature. Galleries are open 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Sunday, from September through June, and daily in July and August. Admission is free January through March and is $20 from March through December; admission is free year-round for Clark members, all visitors age 21 and under, and students with a valid student ID. Free admission is also available through several programs, including First Sundays Free; a local library pass program; and EBT Card to Culture. For information on these programs and more, visit clarkart.edu or call 413 458 2303.
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