"... this feature documentary explores the role of black actors, black directors and the black audience in American movies. Remember the early 80s -- hip hop had just been born, break dancing filled clubs and streets and Eddie Murphy and the late great Richard Pryor were the only two black stars making it. In an action-packed showcase of clips and interviews, Diahnne Abbott, Rosalind Cash and Alfre Woodard talk about negative stereotyping. Jim Brown, Vonetta McGee and D'Urville Martin come up with alternative solutions to the one-way street that was 'blaxploitation' and discuss new ways of advancing an independent black cinema. There is a rare interview with Lorenzo Tucker, the Black Valentino, about his career with Oscar Micheaux. Joel Fluellen and Vincent Tubbs tell memorable stories of what life was like for the few blacks working in Hollywood in the 50s and 60s (including Dorothy Dandridge). There is a marvelous speech by Sidney Poitier on accepting the Black Hall of Fame 'oscar'. Griffiths' Birth of a Nation is panned. Grandmaster Flash and his 'Message' is the theme tune and the writer Oscar Williams holds the whole show together with his advice to the creative outsider." - Container
Blaxploitalian: 100 Years of Blackness in the Italian Cinema
"...is a diasporic, hybrid, critical, and cosmopolitan dimension documentary that uncovers the careers of a population of entertainers seldom heard from before: Black actors in Italian cinema. BlaxploItalian cleverly disclosed the personal struggles classic Afro-Italian and African diasporic actors faced, correlating it with contemporary actors who work diligently to find respectable and significant roles."
The Celluloid Closet
"A cineastes's dream voyage through a century of cinema, taking a witty and stylish look at the varying ways homosexuality has been represented on the silver screen. It is a vivid montage of movie clips from over 100 classics interspersed with interviews with filmmakers."
Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema
"An overview of the recent history of gay and lesbian cinema, from Kenneth Anger's pioneering Fireworks (1947) to Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain (2005). Where documentaries about earlier times looked at the closeted world, "Fabulous!" celebrates films featuring gay characters and those made by out directors on homosexual themes."
Hollywood Chinese: The Chinese in American Feature Films
"Documents the representation and involvement of the Chinese in American cinema from the silent era to the 21st century".
"Examines Hollywood stereotypes of the East, with particular attention paid to the Middle East and the depiction of women."
The Hollywood Librarian: A Look at Librarians through Films
"..is the first comprehensive treatment of the subject of librarians. A vivid blend of factual documentary, feature film, and storytelling, it reveals the history and realities of librarianship in the entertaining and appealing context of American movies. Interviews with actual librarians, intercut with film clips of cinematic librarians, examine such issues as literature, books and reading, censorship, library funding, citizenship and democracy. For the first time, we see and understand the real lives and real work of American librarians who for decades have been a cultural force hiding in plain sight."
Juke: Passages from the Films of Spencer Williams
"In the 1940s Spencer Williams, the African-American filmmaker and actor, produced melodramas about saints and sinners. Here film critic Thom Anderson assembles excerpts from Williams' films to document scenes of black life in the 1940s. Presented without narration."
Midnight Ramble: Oscar Micheaux and the Story of Race Movies
"Recounts the story of race movies produced for Afro-Americans from 1910 through 1950 and the role played by Oscar Micheaux, the leading Afro-American producer and director. These movies were designed for Afro-Americans, were frequently shown at midnight, and presented Afro-Americans in a positive light. Features interviews with Afro-American actors, actresses, and historians."
Reel Herstory: The Real Story of Reel Women
"A sweeping journey that looks at the remarkable achievements of female filmmakers from 1896 into the 21st century who transformed the way we look at movies."
"Travelling through the heartland of America, Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond examines how the myth of the movie 'Injun' has influenced the world's understanding - and misunderstanding - of Natives. With clips from hundreds of classic and recent films, and candid interviews with celebrated Native and non-Native directors, writers, actors and activists, including Clint Eastwood, Robbie Robertson, Sacheen Littlefeather, John Trudell, Charlie Hill and Russell Means, Reel Injun traces the evolution of cinema's depiction of Native people from the silent film era to the present day."
Spirits of Rebellion: Black Independent Cinema from Los Angeles
"...documents the lives and work of a small critically acclaimed group of black filmmakers and media artists known as the Los Angeles Rebellion, a group brought together through shared experiences as students in the UCLA film production MFA program between 1967 and 1992"
The Tyrus Wong Story
"Explores the life of Tyrus Wong, a Chinese-American artist and illustrator, best known for his work as lead artist on Disney's 1942 animated film Bambi."