Why not celebrate his birthday by watching his directorial debut, Shadows, the improvisational film that revolves around an interracial romance between Lelia (Lelia Goldoni), a light-skinned black woman living in New York City with her two brothers, and Tony (Anthony Ray), a white man, who isn’t aware of her true racial heritage. The relationship crumbles when Tony meets Lelia’s brother Hugh (Hugh Hurd), a dark-skinned jazz singer struggling to find work, and learns that the woman he’s been involved with is actually black.
The film was shot on location in New York City, with a cast and crew made up primarily of amateurs. Shadows is widely considered a visionary work, and the forerunner of the American independent film movement.
Netflix carries it as an “Instant Watch” title,