While in San Francisco for the promotion of her last film in October 1967, Agnès Varda, tipped by her friend Tom Luddy, gets to know a relative she had never heard of before, Jean Varda, ... See full summary »
Mary-Jane asks, "Do all women fall in love with a boy, or just those without sons?" She's divorced with two daughters, Lucy and Loulou. Lucy has a party where Mary-Jane notices Julien, 14, ... See full summary »
A subtitle warns, "Beware of dark sunglasses." Anna and her lover, whose looks in bowler and bow tie are reminiscent of a young Buster Keaton, kiss chastely on a bridge overlooking the ... See full summary »
Black Panthers (original title) is listed by IMDb with the title "Huey" (1968). However, we saw it with the original title. This half-hour documentary was directed by the French filmmaker Agnès Varda.
Varda went to a Black Panther rally in Oakland. The Panthers were demanding that the government free Huey Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther party. Newton was on trial, accused of murdering a police officer.
Beside filming the rally itself, Varda filmed an interview with Newton himself while he was in jail, In addition, she interviewed or recorded H. Rap Brown, Stokely Carmichael, Bobby Seale, and Eldridge Cleaver.
The Black Panthers Party was a revolutionary party, and they made no secret of the necessity to use violence to obtain their goals. They considered themselves at war with the Oakland Police Department. (Probably, the feeling was mutual.)
This is a historically important movie, especially for those who aren't old enough to remember the events of the late 1960's. It's also a lesson in the craft of documentary filmmaking, as exemplified by Agnès Varda. I would sum it up as "speak softly, but get the footage you need."
We saw this film at the wonderful Dryden Theatre in the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, NY. It's part of a Varda retrospective, co-sponsored by Rochester Institute of Technology and the Eastman Museum. I'm sure it will work well on the small screen.
P.S. Newton was eventually convicted of manslaughter, but a higher court overturned the verdict. He had two more trials, both of which ended in hung juries. Ultimately, the government gave up.
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