Cinéma du Réel - International documentary film festival

L.A. Rebellion

Rebelles #1

Friday 24 March 20H40 Cinéma 2
Sunday 02 April 15H00 Cinéma 2

On Sunday April 2nd, at 3:00pm in Cinéma 2, as an end to the Charles Burnett retrospective at Cinéma du réel, announcing the Hailé Gerima retrospective at the Jeu de Paume, an exclusive talk between two great filmmakers.

Hour Glass

Hailé Gerima

1971 / U.S.A. / 13 min

Haile Gerima’s first film during his UCLA studies depicts the growing awareness of racism and exploitation of a young black basketball player: America is a prison whose bars must be forced open. The Last Poets group raps out “Time Is Running Out” and Elaine Brown, president of the Black Panther Party… Hour Glass - Read more…

The Horse

Charles Burnett

1973 / U.S.A. / 14 min

Four white men, a young black boy and his father, a horse: a moment suspended in time as daylight fades, while awaiting a killing, to the obsessive sound of a windmill. A snapshot of ordinary violence in what the filmmaker describes as “an allegory of the South”, inspired by Faulkner.

Picket in Response to the Arrest of Angela Davis


1970 / U.S.A. / 2 min

Student Rally in Support of Angela Davis Held at UCLA


1971 / U.S.A. / 7 min

26 January 1971: the student rally to support Angela Davis, a former assistant professor at UCLA who was arrested in October 1970 following an armed attempt to free George Jackson.  The first independent commercial television station in western USA, KTLA documented many key moments in African-American… Student Rally in Support of Angela Davis Held at UCLA - Read more…

A Day in the Life of Willie Faust, or Death on the Installment Plan

Jamaa Fanaka

1972 / U.S.A. / 16 min

A critical version of Faust’s blood pact, playing on Blaxploitation codes: drugs are “death on the installment plan”.

The Kitchen

Alile Sharon Larkin

1975 / U.S.A. / 7 min

A psychiatric ward as the metaphor of the incarceration of Black women. At stake, Black identity as it is made visible or concealed in hair and hairstyles, caught between the interiorisation of the dominant White model and self-negation. Like the heroine of Haile Gerima’s Bush Mama, Larkin’s heroine… The Kitchen - Read more…

Hidden Memories

Jacqueline Frazier

1977 / U.S.A. / 10 min

Working with Compton High School and ULCA’s family planning centre, Jacqueline Frazier recounts a teenage girl’s solitude and distress as she faces an unwanted pregnancy. Between the illusions and clichés of “happy families” and the shock of abortion, the issue addressed is still the liberation of Black… Hidden Memories - Read more…

Four Women

Julie Dash

1975 / U.S.A. / 7 min

The dancer Linda Martina Young embodies the four female figures of Nina Simone’s ballad “Four Women”, from Aunt Sarah the slave to the angry Peaches. The staging of the dance and the reference to African music reveals a critique of stereotypes. “I’m awfully bitter these days, because my parents were… Four Women - Read more…

Daydream Therapy

Bernard Nicolas

1977 / U.S.A. / 8 min

Nina Simone sings the “Pirate Jenny” song from The Threepenny Opera, the day-to-day commentary of a hotel worker. In her daydreaming, she takes revenge for her humiliation and exploitation. Archie Shepp’s “Things Have Got to Change” concludes this poetic variation on alienation.


Ben Caldwell

1973 / U.S.A. / 7 min

The poem of writer-activist Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) “Part of the Doctrine” marks the rhythm of a lyrical collage of images on Black history, from Africa to America, the legacy of unborn children. The debut film of a key figure of the Los Angeles African-American cinema and art scenes.

Ujamii Uhuru Schule

Don Amis

1974 / U.S.A. / 9 min

A day in the life of the pupils and teachers of a Community Freedom School, an Afrocentric primary school in South Los Angeles. “Respect, Righteousness, Revolution.”

Rain (Nyesha)

Melvonna Ballenger

1978 / U.S.A. / 16 min

Rain on Los Angeles. A young typist meets an activist and begins to reflect on the awakening of a new consciousness. A poem of growing awareness to the sound of John Coltrane’s “After the Rain”. “Storm winds are blowing.”

Rebelles #2

Saturday 25 March 18H20 Cinéma 2
Thursday 30 March 20H30 Forum des Images 100

Passing Through

Larry Clark

1977 / U.S.A. / 105 min

One of the greatest jazz films ever made, and an affirmation of jazz as an essential expression of African-American culture and the history of Black struggle in Africa and America. The story of the sax player Eddie Warmack and his grandfather and mentor Poppa Harris is a journey back to the roots and… Passing Through - Read more…

Rebelles #3

Sunday 26 March 17H30 Forum des Images 300
Thursday 30 March 18H00 Cinéma 2

As Above, so Below

Larry Clark

1973 / U.S.A. / 52 min

Recently rediscovered, Larry Clark’s second film recounts the story of Jida-Hadi, a child of the Chicago ghetto and Vietnam veteran, whose growing political awareness leads him to join a revolutionary network that is preparing Black insurgency in the United States. From 1945 to the 1970s Vietnam war,… As Above, so Below - Read more…

Bless Their Little Hearts (Bluesy Dreams)

Billy Woodberry

1984 / U.S.A. / 80 min

Seven years after Burnett’s Killer of Sheep, Woodberry describes the moral and psychological damage that unemployment and marginalisation have wreaked on a couple in the Watts district. In a landscape of de-industrialisation prey to gang violence, Woodberry uses restrained tension and harrowing nuance… Bless Their Little Hearts (Bluesy Dreams) - Read more…

Charles Burnett #1

Tuesday 28 March 21H00 Cinéma 2
Saturday 01 April 13H40 Cinéma 1

My Brother’s Wedding

Charles Burnett

1983 / Germany, U.S.A. / 81 min

Pierce works at his parents’ dry cleaning store. His brother is preparing to marry into a Black middle-class family. When his friend Soldier comes out of prison, life on the wild side seems to be over, and yet… How to choose between the former’s marriage and loyalty to the latter? A comedy of indecision… My Brother’s Wedding - Read more…

Charles Burnett #2

Wednesday 29 March 20H30 Forum des Images 300
Friday 31 March 20H40 Cinéma 1

Several Friends

Charles Burnett

1969 / U.S.A. / 22 min

Burnett’s first film follows a day in the life of a few friends in the Los Angeles ghetto: a fight, a car in need of repair, a stubborn washing machine… Andy, Gene, their friends and entourage struggle to cope with the destitution in the ghetto. The first signs of a unique style where each scene is… Several Friends - Read more…

Killer of Sheep

Charles Burnett

1977 / U.S.A. / 81 min

In the Watts ghetto, the melancholy Stan, a slaughterhouse worker, defends his dignity. A chronicle depicting the days of a family haunted by the memory of their native South, and a delicately poetic and tenderly ironic ballad of a community, the children’s universe, the scheming of petty or big-time… Killer of Sheep - Read more…

Charles Burnett #3

Friday 31 March 16H20 Cinéma 2
Saturday 01 April 17H30 Forum des Images 100

When It Rains

Charles Burnett

1995 / Switzerland / 13 min

A jazz fable: to help a friend under threat of eviction to pay her rent, the musician Babu tours the neighbourhood both as the griot telling the inhabitants’ stories and a historian of jazz and blues: from one solo to another, the blues of a New Year’s Day in South Central.

The Blues: Warming by the Devil’s Fire

Charles Burnett

2003 / Germany, U.S.A. / 89 min

In 1956, a young boy is sent to Mississippi, to live with his blues-crazy uncle. Fiction, photos and filmed documents intertwine to create the portrait of a world peopled by a host of great musicians, where the memory of slavery lingers on and segregation is rife. We hear Lightnin’ Hopkins, Son House,… The Blues: Warming by the Devil’s Fire - Read more…