This documentary by Zeinabu irene Davis provides intimate access to several filmmakers identified with L.A. Rebellion, including Charles Burnett, Ben Caldwell, Julie Dash, Haile Gerima, Barbara McCullough, Billy Woodberry and Davis herself, at work and in discussion. The film’s topics include the origins of the name “L.A. Rebellion,” the importance of public education to this group and in today’s world, and the intriguing question, “what is a Black film?” Convening these artists for a review of their experiences as students and fellow filmmakers, and working with them to powerfully historicize their legacy on film and in society, Davis creates a moving document and an important extension of their story.
Zeinabu irene Davis is a director and producer who has received numerous awards for her work with film and video. Born in 1961 in Philadelphia, she received a MA in African Studies in 1985 at UCLA, where she also earned her MFA in Film and Television production in 1989. She has received acclaim for her representation of the African American female perspective through a variety of works, which include documentaries, short narratives and experimental films.
Davis directed the film Cycles (1989), an experimental short which earned her an awards from the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame and the National Black Programming Consortium. Her latest project, Spirits of Rebellion (2011), gathers fellow L.A. Rebellion filmmakers and explores topics in African American film. It recently was awarded the Best Diaspora Documentary from the 2016 African Academy Awards. In August this year Spirits was awarded Best Documentary Feature at the Black Star Film Festival.