As Above So Below

L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema

February 2–24, 2013

Organized by the UCLA Film & Television Archive
Sponsored by Time Warner Inc.

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.

Presented in association with the UCLA Film & Television Archive and supported in part by grants from the Getty Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The series is curated by Allyson Nadia Field, Jan-Christopher Horak, Shannon Kelley, and Jacqueline Stewart.