30.04.24, 20:30, Emma Mae (1976)

After the death of her mother, young Emma Mae moves from rural Mississippi to metropolis Los Angeles to live with her aunt. Apart from the culture shock, the seemingly naive teenager also has to survive deceptive love, crime and racism. Emma Mae is the second of no less than three feature films that Jamaa Fanaka wrote, produced and directed while studying film at the renowned UCLA, the University of California at Los Angeles. In neo-realist tradition, he shot this emancipatory black working-class story entirely on location with mostly non-professional actors.

With the film, Fanaka created one of the first pioneering works from the so-called L.A. Rebellion, a group of African and African-American filmmakers. Unlike more radical contemporaries such as Charles Burnett and Haile Gerima, the extremely resourceful student fervently used the cinematic language of Hollywood, which they despised. Like his independent prison film and blockbuster Penitentiary (1979), Emma Mae is a unique cross-pollination between classic and subversive. Labelled 'Blaxploitation' partly because of their commercial appeal, Fanaka's explosive longplayers remain unjustly forgotten and ignored.

This film will be introduced by Tim Maerschand, active in several Ghent film collectives such as Cine Rio, Kuleshov and Kuru.

Uamaa Fanaka, 1976, US, 100 minutes, English spoken, not subtitled

i.c.w. Film-Plateau
Campus Bijloke
Godshuizenlaan 4
9000 Gent