Nothing But a Man
Directed by Michael Roemer
Running time: 95 mins
Nothing But a Man, directed in 1964 by Michael Roemer, is a landmark independent film and one of the first films featuring a largely black cast that was intended for an integrated audience. A favourite of Malcolm X, it's the matter of fact look at an average black man's struggle for dignity in the Deep South during the Civil Rights era. Duff Anderson (Ivan Dixon) is an itinerant railroad worker, a proud drifter who falls in love with small town preacher's daughter Abbey Lincoln (Josie Dawson). Duff decides to settle down and marry Abbey but his unwillingness to submit to his white bosses or do the menial labour of cotton picking, means the couple struggle to find their identity or place in this vehemently racist society. The movie was written by Roemer in collaboration with the film's cinematographer and co-producer Robert M. Young, and both men spent a year travelling through the South during 1962 to research the story that would eventually taken them just 6 weeks to write. Set in Alabama, Nothing But a Man was filmed in southern New Jersey and set to an original soundtrack by Motown Records. Described by The Washington Post as “one of the most sensitive films about black life ever made in this country”, it was awarded the San Giorgio Prize at the Venice Film Festival for films especially important for the progress of civilization and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
Reservation is not necessary, but places are limited. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.