NOTE: This film has some instances of the use of racial slurs that are offensive today.
Paul Robeson - the first African American actor to achieve international star status – made his screen debut in this audacious, all-Black cast melodrama, directed and produced by Oscar Micheaux – the silent era’s most successful Black filmmaker.
Micheaux brings a showman’s flair to the sensational story of a demonic ex-con, posing as a minister in order to swindle the townspeople of their money. Micheaux’s leading man, Robeson, shows off his considerable range, playing dual roles as the mild-mannered Sylvester and his charismatic identical twin brother Isaiah.
We are thrilled to present tonight’s Opening Night feature with American jazz musician Wycliffe Gordon’s big-band orchestra composition… a score that ‘captures the ethos of the movie brilliantly, delving deep into his Georgia upbringing and infusing the score with hymns, work songs, and the timbres of early-to-modern jazz.’ (All About Jazz)
Dir. Oscar Micheaux | USA | 1925 | N/C PG | 1h 42m | English intertitles
With: Paul Robeson, Mercedes Gilbert, Julia Theresa Russell
Music Score by Wycliffe Gordon
Screening material courtesy of Brumfield and Associates
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