Looking for Langston

October 31, 1989

A black and white, fantasy-like recreation of high-society gay men during the Harlem Renaissance, with archival footage and photographs intercut with a story. A wake is going on, with mourners gathered around a coffin. Downstairs is an elegant bar where tuxedoed men dance and talk. One of them has a dream in which he comes upon Beauty, who seems to reject him, although when he awakes, Beauty is sleeping beside him. His story and his visits to the jazz and dance club are framed by voices reading from the poetry and essays of Hughes and others. The text is rarely explicit, but the freedom of gay Black men in the 1920s in Harlem is suggested and celebrated visually.

When Martin, a young father, is left alone one weekend with his son, his memories of past rejection from his own father come to the surface. As he walks through this complicated history, Martin begins to doubt his own ability to love.


January 1, 1992

A semi-autobiographical account of a move from Sri Lanka to Britain, which explores "being inbetween East/West, mother/father, male/female". The filmmaker was born in Sri Lanka and brought up in the traditions of European culture and Roman Catholicism. He moved to England to live and work, and the film, which combines drama and documentary, is a personal account of his "negotiation of his personal history".

A Family Called Abrew

January 1, 1992

Director Maureen Blackwood harnesses the distinctive style of the Sankofa Film Collective to sketch the Abrew family tree. The achievements of the unique showbiz family are celebrated using rich archive material, including footage of family members in supporting film roles alongside Paul Robeson and intimate fireside-style testimony. The existence of Black British communities before Windrush is foregrounded, with insights into the Abrews' imprint on British culture beginning in 19th century Scotland.

Dreaming Rivers

January 1, 1988

A bittersweet and nostalgic short drama illustrating the spirit of modern families touched by the experience of migration. Miss T., from the Caribbean, lives alone in her one-room apartment, her children and husband having left her to pursue new dreams. When she dies her family and friends gather at her wake. The tapestry of words that interweave the drama convey the fragments of a life lived, but only partly remembered.

Home Away from Home

January 2, 1993

Short directed by Maureen Blackwood.


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