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Film & Movies
12 Years a Slave by
Call Number: DVD MOVIE DRAMA TWELVE
Publication Date: 2013
The harrowing account of a black man, born free in New York State, who was drugged, kidnapped, and sold into slavery in 1841. Having no way to contact his family, and fearing for his life if he told the truth, Solomon Northup was sold from plantation to plantation in Louisiana, toiling under cruel masters for twelve years before meeting Samuel Bass, a Canadian who finally put him in touch with his family, and helped start the process to regain his freedom
Davenport Public Library has an excellent film & video collection, but remember: if we do not own one of the titles you'd like, please talk with staff and we can likely borrow from a lending library.
If you have purchase recommendations, you call also submit those here. Thank you!
25Th Hour by
Call Number: DVD MOVIE DRAMA TWENTY
Monty Brogan is facing a seven year prison sentence for dealing drugs. On the night before he has to go to jail, he decides to go out with his friends one last time, and re-examines his life in the process.
Ashes & Embers
Call Number: Ask staff to place Interlibrary Loan request
Publication Date: 1982
An embittered veteran of the Vietnam War attempts to come to terms with his past and his current place as a black man in America
Call Number: DVD BELLE BLU-RAY + DVD
Publication Date: June 13, 2014
Based on the true story:
Although Dido Elizabeth Belle, an eighteenth-century English woman of mixed race, is raised in privilege by her aristocratic great-uncle and his wife, she is denied a proper social standing because of her skin color. But when Dido falls in love with a young idealist lawyer who aspires to create positive change, she finds herself caught between two worlds
Call Number: DVD MOVIE DRAMA BESSIE
Bessie Smith's transformation from a struggling young singer into 'The Empress of the Blues', who became one of the most successful recording artists of the 1920s and is an enduring icon today
Black Girl by
Call Number: Ask Staff to place Interlibrary Loan request
Publication Date: 1966
Ousmane Sembène ... made his feature debut in 1966 with the brilliant and stirring Black Girl. Sembène, who was also an acclaimed novelist in his native Senegal, transforms a deceptively simple plot--about a young Senegalese woman who moves to France to work for a wealthy white family and finds that life in their small apartment becomes a prison, both figuratively and literally--into a complexly layered critique of the lingering colonialist mind-set of a supposedly postcolonial world
Boyz in the Hood by
Publication Date: July 12, 1991
Follows the lives of three young males living in the Crenshaw ghetto of Los Angeles, dissecting questions of race, relationships, violence and future prospects.
Ask library staff to obtain via interlibrary loan!
Call Number: DVD 791.43 CREED 2016
Publication Date: Novemeber 25, 2015
Adonis Johnson never knew his famous father, world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, who died before he was born. Still, there's no denying that boxing is in his blood, so Adonis heads to Philadelphia, the site of Apollo Creed's legendary match with a tough upstart named Rocky Balboa.
Daughters of the Dust by
Publication Date: 1991
Languid look at the Gullah culture of the sea islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia where African folk ways were maintained well into the twentieth century and was one of the last bastions of these mores in America
Do The Right Thing by
Publication Date: 1989
The hottest day of the year explodes onscreen in this vibrant look at a day in the life of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. A portrait of urban racial tensions sparked controversy while earning popular and critical praise.
Eve's Bayou by
Publication Date: 1997
Roz Batiste is a beautiful and dedicated mother of three, who is forced to admit that her family is falling apart due to her philandering husband Louis. Her younger daughter, Eve, witnesses one of her father's infidelities. Struggling to make sense of what she has seen, Eve turns to her older sister Cisely, who dismisses her in fear of the truth, and then to her Aunt Mozelle, a known psychic and rumored black widow. Unable to find the understanding she is looking for Eve decides to take matters into her own hands. For the Batiste family, the ties that bind may not be strong enough to keep them together, and what they learn will change their lives forever.
Love & Basketball by
Publication Date: 2000
This film is divided into the quarters of a basketball game and tells the story of Quincy and Monica. It traces their lives as they run parallel and run apart -- from childhood, to high school, to college -- concluding with Quincy and Monica as adults. Both play basketball and each dreams of playing on a professional level. For Quincy, it is easier and expected since he is the son of a professional ballplayer. Monica has it harder being both a woman when there was no professional league, and as a daughter whose mother cannot understand why her daughter wants to be an athlete
Pioneers in African American Cinema by
Call Number: DVD 791.4375 PI
Publication Date: 2015
Among the most fascinating chapters of film history is that of the so-called "race films" that flourished in the 1920s -'40s. Unlike the "black cast" films produced within the Hollywood studio system, these films not only starred African Americans but were funded, written, produced, edited, distributed, and often exhibited by people of color. Entrepreneurial filmmakers built an industry apart from the Hollywood establishment, cultivating visual and narrative styles that were uniquely their own.
O.J.: Made in America
Call Number: DVD 796.332 OJ
Publication Date: 2016
An essential examination of the rise and fall of Orenthal James Simpson, and parallels between his incredible story with that of race in America. This critically-acclaimed documentary series reveals how he first became a football star, why America fell in love with him off the field, what happened in the trial for his ex-wife's murder, and finally, why he is now sitting in jail for another crime 20 years later.
Part I: In the turbulent 1960s, young OJ Simpson rises to fame as a football star first for the USC Trojans, than with the Buffalo Bills in the NFL and becomes one of the first black celebrities embraced by the white mainstream -- summary from imdb.com
Part II: OJ retires from football, becomes an actor and marries his second wife, Nicole. Meanwhile, tensions rise between Los Angeles' black community and the city's police, climaxing with the Rodney King beating and riots in the early 1990s -- summary from imdb.com
Part III: OJ's life and his public image change forever when he is accused of murdering his estranged wife, Nicole. His arrest, attempted escape and trial become a media circus
Even More Film & Movies!
Call Number: DVD MOVIE DRAMA FRUITVALE
The true story of Oscar, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who wakes up on the morning of December 31, 2008 and feels something in the air. Not sure what it is, he takes it as a sign to get a head start on his resolutions: Being a better son to his mother, being a better partner to his girlfriend, and being a better father to T, their beautiful four-year-old daughter. He starts out well, but as the day goes on, he realizes that change is not going to come easy.
Get Out by
Call Number: DVD MOVIE HORROR GET
Publication Date: 2017
A young black man meets his white girlfriend's parents at their estate, only to find out that the situation is much more sinister than it appears.
I Am Not Your Negro
Publication Date: 2017
Master documentary filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin's original words and a flood of rich archival material. A journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter.
Based on James Baldwin's unfinished book, "Remember this house."
Publication Date: 1992
Ask staff to place interlibrary loan!!
Juice is about four Harlem inner-city teens who get caught up in the pursuit of power and happiness, which they refer to as 'the juice'
Just Another Girl On The IRT
Publication Date: 1993
Follows Brooklyn high school junior Chantel as an unplanned pregnancy threatens to stand in the way of her ambition to be a doctor.
Ask staff to place interlibrary loan request!
Killer of Sheep: the Charles Burnett Collection
Call Number: DVD DRAMA KILLER
Publication Date: 2007
Includes Killer of Sheep (a masterpiece of African American filmmaking and one of the finest debuts in history) and My Brother's Wedding (a young man working at his parents' store tries to find himself). Bonus features are included.
Lady Sings the Blues
Publication Date: 2005; originally released in 1972
Diana Ross stars in this musical drama charting the life of Billie Holiday, a life tormented by racism and drug abuse.
Middle of Nowhere
Devoted wife Ruby drops out of medical school after her husband Derek receives an eight-year prison sentence, and struggles to find the courage to remain faithful and supportive as the demands of being a prison wife weigh heavily on her shoulders.
Ask staff to place interlibrary loan!
Night Catches Us
Call Number: DVD DRAMA NIGHT
In 1976, complex political and emotional forces are set in motion when a young man returns to the race-torn Philadelphia neighborhood where he came of age during the Black Power movement.
Alike is a 17-year-old African-American woman who lives with her parents Audrey and Arthur and younger sister Sharonda in Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood. She has a flair for poetry, and is a good student at her local high school. Alike is quietly but firmly embracing her identity as a lesbian. Wondering how much she can confide in her family, Alike strives to get through adolescence with grace, humor, and tenacity - sometimes succeeding, sometimes not, but always moving forward.
Call Number: DVD MOVIE DRAMA SELMA
Publication Date: 2014
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s historical struggle to secure voting rights for all people. A dangerous and terrifying campaign that culminated with an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1964
Spike Lee Joint Collection
Spike Lee is one of the most acclaimed and controversial directors of all time. Now five of his most provocative, thought-provoking films are available in one collection. From the breakout hit dramedy "Do the right thing" to the gritty, urban "Clockers," Lee peels away life's layers, exposing the ironies, brutalities, rhythms and prejudices of the naked city in this powerful collector's set.
Clockers (1995): a film about the violent world of drug dealing and its 24-hour dealers, known as "clockers."
Jungle fever (1991): explores the trials and consequences of interracial romance.
Do the right thing (1989): a portrait of urban racial tensions and a vibrant look at a day in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
Mo' better blues (1990): a film about music and love.
Crooklyn (1994): The Carmichael family struggles to get by in 1970s Brooklyn.
Their Eyes Were Watching God
Call Number: DVD DRAMA THEIR
A drama set in the 1920s, where free-spirited Janie Crawford's search for happiness leads her through several different marriages, challenging the mores of her small town.
Based on the novel by Zora Neale Hurston.
Call Number: DVD MOVIE FOREIGN TIMBUKTU
A cattle herder and his family who reside in the dunes of Timbuktu find their quiet lives, which are typically free of the Jihadists determined to control their faith; abruptly disturbed.
Call Number: DVD 782.421649 TUPAC
The life of influential and enigmatic rapper Tupac Shakur, who rose from the ghetto to become the top-selling rap artist of all time, is told entirely in his own words and voice in this acclaimed, intimate portrait.
Call Number: DVD ACTION SHAFT
Publication Date: 1971
Detective John Shaft is hired by a Harlem mobster to find his kidnapped teenage daughter and finds himself up against some Mafia chieftains who want to take over a chunk of the black underworld's uptown territory.
The Spook Who Sat By The Door
Publication Date: 1973
Ask staff to interlibrary loan this title!
The spook who sat by the door / a Bokari Ltd. production ; screenplay by Sam Greenlee, Mel Clay ; produced by Ivan Dixon, Sam Greenlee ; directed by Ivan Dixon.
Sweet Sweetback's Bad Asssss Song
Publication Date: 2002
Ask staff to interlibrary loan this title!
A young hustler's aimless pleasure-seeking turns to radicalism after witnessing the beating of a Black revolutionary by two white cops.
Waiting to Exhale
Publication Date: 1995
Ask staff to interlibrary loan this title!
"This story based on the best selling novel by Terry McMillan follows the lives of four African-American women as they try to deal with their very lives. Friendship becomes the strongest bond between these women as men, careers, and families take them in different directions. Often light-hearted this movie speaks about some of the problems and struggles the modern women face in today's world
Publication Date: 1989
Ask staff to place interlibrary loan
In an experimental amalgam of rap music, street poetry, documentary film, and dance, a gay African-American man expresses what it is like to be gay and black in the United States. Although he deals with social ostracism and fear of AIDS, he affirms the beauty and significance of the gay black man.
"The stories are fierce examples of homophobia and racism: the man refused entry to a gay bar because of his color; the college student left bleeding on the sidewalk after a gay-bashing; the loneliness and isolation of the drag queen. Yet they also affirm the black gay male experience: protest marches, smoky bars, "snap diva", humorous "musicology" and vogue dancers."
The 50 Greatest Movies by Black Directors This link opens in a new window
Check out this awesome list! You can even view the film/movies by genre (international, romance, lgbtq, comedy, biopic, female directors, etc) and award-winners! (Cannes, Sundance, Emmy, Oscar, etc).