RAP/Clark Conference Film Series: The L.A. Rebellion—Sankofa

RAP/Clark Conference Film Series: The L.A. Rebellion—Sankofa

Thursday, October 12, 2023

6:00 PM–8:00 PM
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Directed by Haile Gerima, Sankofa (1993; 2 hours, 4 minutes; color) was developed from twenty years of research into the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the experiences of African slaves in the New World. The film represents complex characters and empowering moments of resilience that assert humanity in the face of subjugation. Unlike Hollywood’s depiction of slavery, Gerima 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.

In celebration and anticipation of the Clark’s Research and Academic Program (RAP) 2023 Conference, “The Fetish A(r)t Work: African Objects in the Making of European Art History, 1500–1900,” the Clark presents a series of films 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.


Image: Sankofa, Haile Gerima, 1993