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Still from Camille Billops’s and James Hatch’s A String of Pearls (2022) courtesy Third World Newsreel

A String of Pearls: The Films of Camille Billops and James Hatch (Part I)

Summer of 16mm: Celebrating 100 Years of Film

  • Saturday, July 15, 2023
  • 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • East Building Auditorium
  • Films
  • In-person
  • Registration Required

Centering Black cultural life and storytelling on screen, Camille Billops and James Hatch expanded the documentary form and artfully wove together personal histories and social issues in their work. These three titles, often referred to as The Family Trilogy, center complex familial histories: Suzanne, Suzanne profiles a young Black woman—Billops’ niece Suzanne Browning—as she confronts a legacy of physical abuse and its role in her substance abuse (1982, DCP, 30 minutes); Finding Christa, a moving yet unsentimental view of motherhood and adoption that explores the feelings surrounding the reunion of a young woman with her natural mother, Camille Billops herself (1991, DCP, 55 minutes); and A String of Pearls, centering four generations of men in Billops’ family and the ways in which urban violence, unemployment, and the early deaths of their own fathers shaped their lives (2002, DCP, 57 minutes).

The retrospective is organized by Third World Newsreel.