Monday, April 4, 2011

Pick of the Day: Nothing But a Man at Belcourt

Posted By on Mon, Apr 4, 2011 at 5:04 AM

As The Belcourt's "Visions of the South" winds down this week, one of the very best films in the series plays tonight — a fitting selection on the day people around the world remember the 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Craig D. Lindsey has details in this week's Scene:

Now let's take it way back to 1964. That's when the black-and-white feature Nothing But a Man (April 3 - 5) was released, and soon vanished almost without a trace. Directed by the German-born Michael Roemer, the bluntly naturalistic movie captures the pain and frustration African-Americans felt growing up in the South during the civil rights era. Ivan Dixon stars as a railroad worker trying to maintain his dignity and pride in a rural Mississippi town. His refusal to kowtow to the white man turns him into a pariah in both white and black communities, while causing tension in his new marriage to a schoolteacher (jazz vocalist Abbey Lincoln). The film also includes great early performances from veteran actors Julius Harris, Gloria Foster (who would become the Oracle in the Matrix movies) and a young Yaphet Kotto, few of whom would get dramatic film roles this meaty during the coming blaxploitation era.

Below, we found online a pair of interviews with the late Ivan Dixon and Abbey Lincoln looking back on the movie 40 years later. Spread the word — this movie is not to be missed.

Ivan Dixon:

Abbey Lincoln:

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