21 Sep 2018 10:00

Nation: U.S.A.
Directed by Oscar Micheaux
Main cast: Paul Robeson, Mercedes Gilbert, Julia Theresa Russell
Year: 1925
Length: 97′
Language: Silent film with English boards
Version: DCP, international distribution by Kino Lorber

A fugitive seeks refuge in Tatesville, Georgia, a city with a strong African-American composition, and successfully claims to be a reverent in the eyes of the local community. No one suspects he is a criminal accustomed to scams and drinking. Behind his façade of righteousness there is an evil person who will bring the owner of a gambling house onto the pavement and betray an honest girl who is enamored of him, bringing them both to ruin.

Oscar Micheaux is the first African-American producer and director in the history of cinema. Thanks to the success of some of his novels he manages to create at the end of the decade an independent production company with which in thirty years of career he has made more than 40 films (unfortunately largely lost). His second feature, Within Our Gates (1920), denounces racism and was made in response to David Wark Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation (1915). His fierce opposition to racism and stereotypical roles that reflect the clichés on African-American people moved him to engage himself into the battle of rights of black people.