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Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898-1971 will be open to the public beginning August 21st. Photo: Instagram Academy Museum
'Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898-1971' will be open to the public beginning on Aug. 21. Photo: Instagram Academy Museum

The Academy Museum of Hollywood launches Black film exhibition

The exhibition looks to spotlight the Black voices of the movie industry.

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On Aug. 21, 2022, the Academy Museum of Hollywood will premiere its exhibition Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898-1971, which recalls the stars and productions that marked Black filmography and cements their place in the history of American cinema.

According to the institution, the exhibition integrates a wide range of pieces, ranging from the first productions of films and works created to be screened in segregated theaters in the 1920s, to the Blaxploitation movement (black exploitation) that emerged in 1970.

Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898-1971 will be open to the public through April 9 of next year, accompanied by a program of dance activities, art creation and a special look at the curators' shaping of the exhibition.

"It's really exciting for us to be able to help broaden the conversation around American cinema, essentially, by bringing to light these important contributions of black filmmakers, as well as performers and other artisans and technicians," Rhea Combs, curator of the exhibition, told Variety

The exhibition proposes a journey through the hidden history of film, during a period marked by the growing number of independent filmmakers, and even those who worked alone, and were ignored by the industry.

Scenes, posters, scripts and costumes are included in the collection, which recalls titles such as the short film Something Good-Negro Kiss, which shows the first display of affection by an African-American couple in front of the camera, with a kiss between Saint Sutlle and Gertie Brown.

The exhibition also recalls the impact of The Lincoln Motion Picture Company, a pioneer in Black cinema, as well as brushstrokes of history through the images of The Colored American Winning His Suit, Siren of the Tropics, Stormy Weather and Lilies of the Field.

The Academy Museum hopes to also highlight the names of renowned figures of this aesthetic movement, such as Josephine Baker, the Nicholas Brothers, Sidney Poitier (the first Black actor to win an Oscar), Gordon Parks, Melvin Van Peebles and Ossie Davis.

With the exhibition, the institution continues its efforts to "vindicate the voices of all members of the industry, eliminate discriminatory biases, recognize mistakes and return to the scene works unjustly ignored."

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