The Politics and Poetics of Black Film: Nothing But a Man (Studies in the Cinema of the Black Diaspora)

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9780253018441: The Politics and Poetics of Black Film: Nothing But a Man (Studies in the Cinema of the Black Diaspora)

Written and directed by two white men and performed by an all-black cast, Nothing But a Man (Michael Roemer, 1964) tells the story of a drifter turned family man who struggles with the pressures of small-town life and the limitations placed on him and his community in the Deep South, an area long fraught with racism. Though unmistakably about race and civil rights, the film makes no direct reference to the civil rights movement. Despite this intentional absence, contemporary audiences were acutely aware of the social context for the film's indictment of white prejudice in America. To help frame and situate the film in the context of black film studies, the book gathers primary and secondary resources, including the original screenplay, essays on the film, statements by the filmmakers, and interviews with Robert M. Young, the film’s producer and cinematographer, and Khalil Gibran Muhammad, the Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

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About the Author:

David C. Wall is Assistant Professor of Visual Studies at Utah State University.

Michael T. Martin is Director of the Black Film Center/Archive and Professor in the Departments of Communication and Culture and American Studies at Indiana University Bloomington.

Review:

We thought that the most powerful, useful political statement [in the struggle for civil rights] would be a human one. (Michael Roemer filmmaker, Nothing But a Man)

The finest comment to date on the Negro revolution in the South, but its primary distinction is that the comment is made through a universal theme, that of a young man's coming to terms with himself and with society.1963 (Judith Crist on the film Nothing But a Man)

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