Garrett Bradley's America
Film America and the Race Film Peter Jay Sharp Building
BAM Rose Cinemas
Oct 15, 2019
  • 7PM
Running Time: 90min

Garrett Bradley’s extraordinary new short is presented with two outré early-1930s African-American morality tales about sin and temptation amid the decadence of the Jazz Age.

+ Intro by Ina Archer (Media Conservation & Digitization Assistant, Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History & Culture)
MEMBERS: $8 (free for Level 4 and above)

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Dir. Garrett Bradley
With Donna Crump, Edward Spots
2019, 30min, DCP


Taking as its starting point the recently rediscovered Bert Williams feature Lime Kiln Club Field Day (1913)—the first known film to feature an all-Black cast—Garrett Bradley’s extraordinary new short imagines an entire lost lineage of African-American cinema, where images of Black joy, strength, and beauty live on forever in a free-floating celluloid dream space. Shot in gorgeously poetic black and white and set to an intricately layered audio collage, America is an ecstatic sensory experience that rewrites our visual history in the name of Black empowerment.

Hellbound Train

Dir. James and Eloyse Gist
1930, 50min, DCP


This outré silent curio warns against the evils of drinking, gambling, and dancing via a parable about Jazz Age sinners on a one-way trip to eternal damnation. Husband and wife Eloyce and James Gist were evangelists and DIY filmmakers who toured the country exhibiting their morality tales at Black churches.


Dir. Murray Roth
1930, 10min


Produced by Warner Bros., this strikingly stylized surrealist fantasia follows a young Black man from the country as he learns about the perils of life in the big city—envisioned as a topsy-turvy funhouse of jazz and vice.