The Czar of Black Hollywood is a documentary film chronicling the early life and career of African-American filmmaker Oscar Micheaux (1884-1951). Oscar Micheaux was a towering figure ... See full synopsis »

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Oscar Micheaux ...
Himself (archive footage)
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The Czar of Black Hollywood is a documentary film chronicling the early life and career of African-American filmmaker Oscar Micheaux (1884-1951). Oscar Micheaux was a towering figure even by today's standards... See full synopsis »

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A great American story.

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Documentary

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Release Date:

24 December 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Oscar Micheaux: The Czar of Black Hollywood  »

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Budget:

$18,000 (estimated)
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16:9 HD
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Great Story - Middling Execution
3 May 2015 | by See all my reviews

I've seen a bunch of Micheaux's films so I was excited about this. Micheax, the pioneer of black film making, gets short shrift in mainstream cinema. A failed homesteading enterprise led him to novelize his experience, paving the way for a career as a successful novelist which led him to filmmaking. It makes for a helluva tale but, as presented here, the drama leaks slowly out. You'd expect an hour-seven minute film to whiz by. That's not the case. Instead, it's PBS-light without the benefit of multiple voices personalizing the story. When a train is mentioned, you see a train on screen. When Chicago is mentioned, you see a picture of Chicago. The graphics turn it more into an audiobook than a film. The narration does a decent job but he's flat and emotionless.

That said, the effort to research and create a movie about Micheaux must be heartily applauded even if the result turns out a movie without any real drive.


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