Rare Films Showing Life in Brooklyn Screen at Greenpoint’s Light Industry on May 8

Photo via Light Industry

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On May 8, a selection of rare films from the private collection of African American cinema pioneer Pearl Bowser will screen in Brooklyn.

“From the Collection of Pearl Bowser,” an event at Greenpoint’s film and electronic art venue Light Industry, will show nine films of various lengths. They are all pulled from Bowser’s collection, which she donated to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2012.

Bowser, who resides in Brooklyn, has worked as a documentarian, producer, and author since the 1960s. She is the founder and director of African Diaspora Images, a collection of historical and contemporary African American and African films and memorabilia, and is well known for her book “Writing Himself Into History: Oscar Micheaux, His Silent Films, and His Audiences,” a work of immense scholarship about the legendary African American filmmaker.

The films screening in Greenpoint include Charles Hobson’s “It’s the Same Old Game,” a short documentary made in 1971, which shows substandard urban development in Carroll Gardens and Red Hook. (Hobson, a producer on the late 1960s television show “Inside Bed Stuy,” is the subject of a feature in the upcoming Spring/Summer 2018 issue of Brownstoner magazine.)

light industry pearl bowser

A scene from ‘It’s The Same Old Game.’ Image via Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

“Statues Hardly Ever Smile,” made by documentarian St. Clair Bourne the same year, shows a program to bring children from the local community into the Brooklyn Museum. “Morris,” made in the 1960s by Hortense “Tee” Beveridge, is a short experimental film made with the Brownsville Youth Center.

light industry pearl bowser

A scene from ‘Bedford-Stuyvesant Youth In Action.’ Image via the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

“Bedford-Stuyvesant Youth In Action,” made by an unknown cinematographer in 1965, shows the titular community organization as they plan an art and fashion exhibition on a residential street.

The entire program, which includes five more films, will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the door for $8, and seating is first come, first serve. Light Industry is located at 155 Freeman Street. For more information, click here.

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