Films By First Unionized Black Woman To Direct A Documentary Are Available For The First Time
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Films By First Unionized Black Woman To Direct A Documentary Are Available For The First Time

Indie distributor Icarus Films has announced that I Am Somebody: Three Films by Madeline Anderson will be available, for the first time, on home video DVD as well as Amazon Video on February 20, 2018.

Inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1992, trailblazer Madeline Anderson was the first American born black woman, in a film industry union, to produce a documentary film.

Newly preserved, Anderson’s Integration Report 1 (1960), A Tribute to Malcolm X (1967), and the classic I Am Somebody (1970) bring viewers to the front lines of the fight for civil rights. An important body of cinematic work, and essential historical records of activism, Anderson’s films are a testament to the courage of the workers and activists at the heart of her documentaries, as well as her own bravery, tenacity and skill.

The release comes with bonus features that include: UHD digital scan of I Am Somebody and photochemical preservation of Integration Report 1 (with the support of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture); a Smithsonian oral history video interview; a 28-page booklet including an interview between Rhea L. Combs, PhD, and Madeline Anderson; and Celebrate Moe!, a 13-minute featurette on Moe Foner, the union leader who commissioned I Am Somebody, by Michelle Miller.

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Further details on all 3 films, follow below:

I Am Somebody (1970),  30 min

In 1969, black female hospital workers in Charleston, South Carolina went on strike for union recognition and a wage increase, only to find themselves in a confrontation with the state government and the National Guard.

Featuring Andrew Young, Charles Abernathy, and Coretta Scott King and produced by Local 1199, New York’s Drug and Hospital Union, I Am Somebody is a crucial document in the struggle for labor rights.

“The first documentary film directed by an African-American, unionized, female director.” —Black Film Center/Archive

Integration Report 1 (1960) , 21 min

Examines the struggle for black equality in Montgomery, Alabama, Brooklyn, New York, and Washington, D.C. Includes footage by documentary legends Albert Maysles and Ricky Leacock, protest songs sung by Maya Angelou, and a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr.

A Tribute to Malcolm X (1967), 14 min

Features fascinating archival footage as well as an interview with Malcolm X’s widow Dr. Betty Shabazz, conducted two years after his 1965 assassination. Made for television broadcast on the William Greaves-produced WNET program Black Journal.

Visit Icarus Films’ website for more information on the release.

Watch a clip from I Am Somebody below:

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