Angela – Portrait of A Revolutionary

Yolande du Luart
USA, France 1971

23.02.2020 20:00 OV Akademie der Künste
27.02.2020 15:00 OV Kino Arsenal 1

16 mm, 60 min. English.
(screening together with EL CUARTO PODER)

Angela: Angela Davis, that is. At the start of filming in 1969 she was an unknown philosophy professor at UCLA, but by the time the committed communist was imprisoned shortly thereafter, she was already an icon. The film shows Davis both in public and private: at seminars, at demonstrations for political prisoners and the Black Panthers and at her desk at home. Free my brother, my sister, my people! (bik)

Yolande du Luart was born in 1932. While studying film at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), she and fellow students made the documentary Angela – Portrait of a Revolutionary, for which they filmed the civil rights activist who was also a philosophy lecturer at UCLA at the time. After the FBI became aware of the group's film work, du Luart returned to France to finish the film. It was screened at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, amongst other venues. In the following years, Luart worked as a translator. She now lives in Trouville-sur-Mer in Normandy.

Social criticism plus politics as the final chord

Cinematic broadsheets from Italy, Algeria, the United States, Chile, and the Federal Republic of Germany ANGELA – PORTRAIT OF A REVOLUTONARY.
Two works by non-commercial U.S. film groups: in newsreel style, they attempt to show the life stories of leaders of the militant Black Panther movement of black Americans. The communist university lecturer Angela Davis, who tries to underpin the aggressiveness in terms of economics, is turned into a heroine. (…)
The films about the radicals are radical, passionately subjective, and militantly depict one side of the matter; the tendentious documentations, interviews, assertions, and counterstatements thereby remain unverifiable. Cinema as a revolutionary training evening, instructive for the outsider solely as new evidence of the malleability, the manipulability of the medium of film.
Ways to solve America’s smouldering domestic conflicts are not shown, and apparently not sought, either.

(D. S., Berliner Morgenpost, 6 July 1971)

ANGELA DAVIS

A portrait of the philosophy professor and revolutionary who taught at the University of California, Berkeley and conducted political instruction until she was removed from the university because the American concept of freedom ends where radical demands for societal change are made.
The film depicts some situations in Angela’s life in order to convey an impression of her personality and her arguments.
A documentation that serves its task simply and impressively.

(U. S., Telegraf, 4 July 1971. Press documentation 1971)

Written and directed by Yolande du Luart. Cinematography Roger Andrieux, Yolande du Luart, Charles Barnett, Lynn Merrick, Betty Chen, Larry Roman, Brogan Depoar, Earl Samson, Vince Dyer, Joe Shearer. Editing Maryse Siclier, Jacqueline Meppiel. Sound Nancy Dowd.

Photo: © Courtesy of Laika-Verlag