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LA Rebellion Series: Creating A New Black Cinema

Check out the new series at the Museum of the Moving Image: LA Rebellion. Taking place from February 2-24, the exhibit will feature films made by UCLA Rebellion filmmakers.


Coinciding with Black History Month, the Museum of the Moving Image in NYC presents "LA Rebellion: Creating A New Black Cinema". The series is organized by the UCLA Film & Television Archive and will revisit various films and shorts from what is often referred to as the Los Angeles School of Black Filmmakers or the 'UCLA Rebellion'.

In the late 1960s, in the aftermath of the Watts Uprising and against the backdrop of the continuing Civil Rights Movement and the escalating Vietnam War, a group of African and African American students entered the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, as part of an “Ethno-Communications” initiative designed to be responsive to communities of color. Now referred to as L.A. Rebellion, these mostly unheralded artists, including Charles Burnett, Julie Dash, Larry Clark, Haile Gerima, Billy Woodberry, and many others, created a unique cinematic landscape, as—over the course of two decades—students arrived, mentored one another, and passed the torch to the next group.

They came from Watts. They came from New York City. They came from throughout America or crossed an ocean from Africa. Together, they made movies and produced a rich, innovative, sustained, and intellectually rigorous body of work. The filmmakers of L.A. Rebellion achieved this while realizing a new possibility for “Black” cinema, one that explored and related to the real lives of Black communities in the U.S. and worldwide.

The series will feature works from Larry Clarke, Zeinabu Irene Davis, Julie Dash, Funmilayo Marakah in tandem with filmmakers that studied at UCLA from the late 1960s through the late 1980s and created alternative cinematic narratives. Check out the website for all the details.

(Daughters of the Dust 1991)

(Medea, 1973)

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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