Baltimore with Lessons of the Hour

Baltimore with Lessons of the Hour

(Left Image) Baltimore series (Angela in Orange), 2003 © Isaac Julien; (Right Image) J.P. Ball Studio, 1867 Douglass (Lessons of The Hour), 2019 © Isaac Julien

An homage to writer-director-producer-actor Melvin Van Peebles (1932–2021), whose 1971 film Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song ushered in the “blaxploitation” era, Isaac Julien’s film employs the look and feel of blaxploitation films, using Baltimore’s streets and museums as locations. Currently on view in conjunction with the museum’s Regeneration exhibition as a three-channel installation, Baltimore is presented here in its single-channel theatrical version.

DIRECTED/WRITTEN BY: Isaac Julien. WITH: J. R. Adduci, Leia Thompson, Tony Colavito, Nato Jude. 2003. 11 min. UK. Color. English. DCP.  

Lessons of the Hour  
Named for abolitionist Frederick Douglass’s famed speech delivered at the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1894, Isaac Julien’s portrait of this key Black American orator gives screen time to a figure who died mere years before his tremendous rhetoric could be documented by a motion picture camera. This single-channel version of Julien’s resonant tableau centers both Douglass’s personal life and his consistent activism, placing his history in dialogue with the contemporary movement for Black lives and the continuous struggle for justice and liberty currently reverberating throughout our country.  

DIRECTED/WRITTEN BY: Isaac Julien. WITH: Valerie Edmond, Charlotte Emmerson, Ray Fearon, Cara Horgan. 2019. 28 min. UK. Color. English. DCP. 

Academy Museum film programming generously funded by the Richard Roth Foundation. 

Theater accessibility accommodations available upon request. Learn more about our accessibility initiatives.

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