Black Paris: Josephine and Beyond

Black Paris: Josephine and Beyond

Cinema Rediscovered 2022

Season

Please note: this season finished in July 2022

By the start of the Jazz Age, Paris had become the centre of not just artistic expression, cultural renaissance, and radical politics but, just as importantly, a city where Black writers, intellectuals, musicians and performers gathered.

Curator Karen Alexander explores the appeal of Paris to Black Americans and reflects on why they were drawn to the French capital. Starting with singer, dancer and civil rights activist Josephine Baker, she will explore Paris as a haven for writers such as Richard Wright, Chester Himes, James Baldwin and maverick filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles. In addition, feminist and cultural activist Martiniquan writer Paulette Nadal and African Cinema pioneer Sarah Maldoror were closely aligned to the Negritude movement founded by French-speaking black students and centred in Paris before being taken up as a global anti-colonial consciousness movement spearheaded by Leon G Damas and Leopold Sedar Senghor and Aime Cesaire.

This season is dedicated to the memory of Dr Roland-François Lack (1960 – 2021).

Presented as part of Future City Film Festival which takes place biennially in the autumn but had to be postponed last year due to the pandemic. It will now run through 2022 as a series of special events with the support of BFI awarding funds from National Lottery.


Previous screenings in this season

Paris Blues

classified 12A Black Paris
Paris Blues
Please note: This was screened in July 2022
Film
Sidney Poitier and Paul Newman play a pair of American ex-pat jazz musicians living la vie bohème in Paris in this intoxicating, music-filled romance. 

UK Premiere: Princess Tam Tam

classified 15 S Black Paris
UK Premiere: Princess Tam Tam
Please note: This was screened in July 2022
Film
From the makers of French musical Zou Zou, this comedy sees a mischievous shepherd girl rising through society to become a pretend princess and the toast of Paris nightlife.
Paris Noir - African Americans in the City of Light
Please note: This was screened in July 2022
Film
A compelling documentary on the migration of pioneering African Americans to Paris and the ensuing cultural exchange, from Josephine Baker and beyond.

A Dessert for Constance

classified 15 S Black Paris
A Dessert for Constance
Please note: This was screened in July 2022
Film
Two Senegalese émigré street cleaners enter a “haute cuisine” competition to help their friend after stumbling upon a 19th-century cookbook.