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Losing Ground

A committed young philosophy professor (Seret Scott) and her artist husband (Bill Gunn) escape their New York apartment for a summer retreat in an upstate village, but soon find their lives utterly transformed. Kathleen Collins’s elegant, offbeat, and intimate Losing Ground, one of the first narrative features completely helmed by an African American woman, disappeared from screens following its limited theatrical exhibition in the 1980s. A muse to filmmakers of the later L.A. Rebellion, the talented Collins died from cancer just a few years after her landmark film was completed, yet it remains an important milestone in the history of American independent cinema. The director’s daughter, Nina Collins, succeeded in rescuing the film’s original negative, and a restored digital master was acquired for distribution by Milestone Films. The Library of Congress recently added Losing Ground to the National Film Registry. (Kathleen Collins, 1982, 86 minutes)