Courtesy of Kino Lorber

Native Son


MoMI is pleased to partner with Kino Lorber to bring Native Son directly to Museum members and patrons to view from home. To support the Museum, please use the link below to watch the film.

View Native Son from home using this link (Tickets: $10).
A portion of ticket sales benefits the Museum and its staff.

Dir. Pierre Chenal. Argentina, 1951, 108 mins. Richard Wright's classic, controversial 1940 novel about the injustices of African American life in Chicago's South Side was adapted to the screen in 1951 by Pierre Chenal, a French expatriate living in Argentina. The film stars Wright himself as Bigger Thomas, whose violent tendencies and moral confusion are the natural result of a lifetime of deprivation. Sentenced to death for murder, Thomas reflects from prison on the circumstances that led to his fate. When initially released in the U.S., Native Son was heavily censored; a complete 16mm print of the original Argentinian release and an incomplete 35mm duplicate negative of the uncensored cut were combined for the current restoration by Kino Lorber, done in association with the Library of Congress, Fernando Martin Peña, and Argentina Sono Film, with special thanks to Edgardo Krebs. This is the most complete version of Native Son ever shown in the U.S.

The film is preceded by a special filmed introduction by film historians Eddie Muller (Film Noir Foundation) and Jacqueline Najima Stewart (co-curator of Kino Lorber's Pioneers of African Cinema), courtesy of Turner Classic Movies.