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Film Programs
Black Artists’ Group: Creation Equals Movement followed by Sweet Willie Rollbar’s Orientation

September 14 at 3:30
East Building Auditorium

World premiere of Black Artists’ Group: Creation Equals Movement
Bryan Dematteis, George Sams, and Brent Hayes Edwards in person

The arts collective Black Artists’ Group (BAG) began in Saint Louis in the late 1960s with the intention of raising consciousness, battling social injustice, and exploring the far reaches of experimental performance. Several African American artists’ collectives were forming across the nation during that pivotal political time; however, BAG was unique for its blend of music, poetry, drama, dance, and the visual arts. This new documentary, Black Artists’ Group: Creation Equals Movement, includes archival footage of BAG members such as Oliver Lake, Julius Hemphill, and Shirley LeFlore, among others, with interviews of surviving participants. (Bryan Dematteis, 2019, approximately 60 minutes)
    An astonishing document of the post – Black Arts period, Sweet Willie Rollbar’s Orientation was made by Hemphill, poet K. Curtis Lyle, actor Malinke Elliott, and other BAG members. The film includes a series of fragmented, surreal “trickster tale” vignettes set in the detritus of Saint Louis’s inner city. (BAG, 1972, 30 minutes) Shown in conjunction with the exhibition “Oliver Lee Jackson: Recent Paintings”; discussion follows with Bryan Matteis, George Sams, Brent Hayes Edwards, and National Gallery of Art curator Harry Cooper.  

still from Black Artists’ Group: Creation Equals Movement
courtesy Bryan Dematteis

Film Programs

The National Gallery of Art’s film program provides many opportunities throughout the year to view classic and contemporary cinema from around the world.

View the current schedule here.

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