Nzingha Kendall Presents: Losing Ground & Older Women and Love
ABOUT NZINGHA KENDALL
Nzingha Kendall is a is a film educator and programmer from the Washington, DC area with a deep commitment to promoting the work of independent women filmmakersespecially those of color. She programmed films at the Black Film Center/Archive and the Indiana University Cinema. She also makes experimental films that explore black women's relationships to nature.
At the time of her death from cancer in 1988, Kathleen Collins was just 46 years old, but she was already an internationally renowned playwright, a popular professor (at New Yorks City College) and a successful independent filmmaker.
Her second film, Losing Ground tells the story of a marriage of two remarkable people, both at a crossroads in their lives. Sara Rogers, a black professor of philosophy, is embarking on an intellectual quest to understand ecstasy just as her painter husband Victor sets off on a more earthy exploration of joy.
Celebrating a recent museum sale, Victor decides to rent a country house where he can return to more realism after years working as an abstract expressionist. Away from the city, the couples summer idyll becomes complicated by Saras research and by Victors involvement with a young model. When one of her students casts Sara as the woman scorned in a film version of the song Frankie and Johnny, she experiences a painful emotional awakening. While dealing with strong individuals and feelings, the film is also charming--Collins described it as a comedy about a young woman who takes herself too seriously.
One of the very first fictional features by an African-American woman, Losing Ground remains a stunning and powerful work of art. Accomplished actors Seret Scott (who appeared in Louis Malles Pretty Baby and Ntozake Shanges play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide when the Rainbow is Enuf), Bill Gunn (Ganja and Hess) and Duane Jones (Night of the Living Dead) star.
Funny, brilliant and personal, Losing Ground should have ranked high in the canon of indie cinema. But the early 1980s was not an easy time for women or independent filmmakers and the film was never theatrically released. It was shown once on PBSs American Playhouse, and then it effectively disappeared. Twenty-five years after her mothers death, Nina Collins rescued the original negative and created a beautiful new digital master of her mothers film. Losing Ground now looks and sounds as fresh, bracing and complex as it did when it was first filmed. It is a testament to Kathleen Collins incredible talent and a lasting treasure of African American and womens cinema.
"A nearly lost masterwork..."Losing Ground plays like the record of a life revealed in real time." RICHARD BRODY, NEW YORKER
OLDER WOMEN AND LOVE
CAMILLE BILLOPS & JAMES HATCH
Using interviews and dramatizations, this film achieves a touching and often humorous look at social attitudes towards relationships between older women and younger men. The filmmakers are involved on both sides of the camera as they direct their multi-racial cast in an insightful profile of older-younger relationships. Their subjects are candid and comfortable discussing the joys and problems of loving someone of a different generation.
"Dispels myths about the type of sexual life older women enjoy..focusing on strong women who battle to get their way and who also pay the price by taking risks, the film shows the realistic challenges of independence." - Barbara Lekatsas, Black American Literature Forum
Suns Cinema (View)
3107 Mount Pleasant Street NW
Washington, DC 20010