SISTERS IN CINEMA Rating: NN
African-American women were making feature films in the 1930s, but it wasn't until Euzhan Palcy directed Marlon Brando in A Dry White Season that a black woman director made it to Hollywood. Sisters In Cinema assembles dozens of directors to chronicle this buried history, including Kasi Lemmons, whose Eve's Bayou was the sleeper gem of 1997. Maya Angelou tells how she settled on writing after frustrating attempts at making films, and Madeline Anderson recalls leaving the helm of Cotton Comes To Harlem after producers pushed her to make it more blaxploitation.
For fans of film history, it's compelling stuff. Unfortunately, director Yvonne Welbon makes no distinction between the groundbreaking, talented filmmakers she interviews and the merely hardworking.
This is the first and only comprehensive survey of African-American women directors, inspired by Welbon's PhD dissertation. Welbon attends all screenings.
(October 24, Metro Central YMCA; October 25, John Spotton Cinema)