Black Roots

Lionel Rogosin

F.: J. Robert Wagner. Mo.: Ruth Schell. Int.: Jim Collier, Gary Davis, Larry Johnson, Florynce Kennedy. Prod.: Lionel Rogosin DCP. D.: 56’. 

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

After Come Back, Africa, On the Bowery, and Good Times, Wonderful Times, the res­toration of Lionel Rogosin’s films reaches its fourth chapter with Black Roots. As with his previous films, Rogosin does not depend on preconceived ideas but rein­vents the form of his cinema with the con­viction that every piece of work is a kind of unique organism, nourished by particular places, people, and stories. What remains unchanged is his need to take cinema into the deepest folds of the contemporary world – to take a position against the fas­cist, repressive, and destructive drifting of our social lives. Black Roots gets a group of five African Americans talking around a café table: among family memories, obser­vations about the present, and the desire to reverse injustices emerges a powerful pic­ture of black pride, anger, discouragement, mirth, combativeness, and beauty. As the characters are all excellent musicians who put on long improvised performances, the film is also an occasion to hear the wonder­ful music that thrives throughout American black culture.
(Andrea Meneghelli)


Copy From

Digitally restored by Cineteca di Bologna and Rogosin Heritage Inc. at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory. The restoration is based on a 16mm internegative and a sound negative preserved at Anthology Film Archives, New York