Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Ken Burns joins Morning Joe to preview the new four-part PBS film 'Muhammad Ali,' which follows the life of the three-time heavyweight boxing champion.
For most of her life, Josepha Albrecht has known only one leader. She doesn’t live in North Korea or in Russia under Vladimir Putin. She is a teenager living in prosperous, democratic Germany.
The 17-year-old student was a baby when Angela Merkel became Germany’s first female chancellor in November 2005. And she grew up in the years when Merkel established herself as Europe’s pre-eminent stateswoman, a rock of stability in a world convulsed by economic crises, political populism and the fracturing of old alliances.
“Just crazy,” is how Albrecht, a climate activist from Barnim, describes Merkel’s long reign. “In democratic terms it’s pretty shocking.” For Imanuel Röver, a 16-year-old from Neukölln in southern Berlin, Merkel has been a kind of background track his entire life. “As long as I can remember”, he says, “she’s always been there.”
When Merkel came to power, the iPhone had yet to be launched and the oil major ExxonMobil was still the US’s most valuable company (it would be six years before it was supplanted by Apple). The wider world looked very different too. George W Bush was in the White House and Tony Blair in 10 Downing Street. Germany was surrounded by solid friends and allies, the EU was united and strong, and liberal democracy seemed to be on the march.
The films collected on Black Film Archive have something significant to say about the Black experience; speak to Black audiences; and/or have a Black star, writer, producer, or director. This criterion for selection is as broad and inclusive as possible, allowing the site to cover the widest range of what a Black film can be.
The films listed here should be considered in conversation with each other, as visions of Black being on film across time. They express what only film can: social, anthropological, and aesthetic looks at the changing face of Black expression (or white attitudes about Black expression, which are inescapable given the whiteness of decision-makers in the film industry).
Films, by their very nature, require a connection between creator and audience. This relationship provides a common thread that is understood through conventional and lived knowledge to form thought and to consider. Not every filmmaker is speaking directly to Blackness or Black people or has the intention to. Some films listed carry a Black face to get their message across. But presented here, these films offer a full look into the Black experience, inferred or real, on-screen.