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'Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People' to premiere at Film Forum
Thomas Allen Harris, director of Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People, a First Run Features release.
Photo by Russell Frederick for Chimpanzee Productions, Inc.

NEW YORK, NY.- Film Forum presents the US premiere of Thomas Allen Harris’s Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People, beginning Wednesday, August 27. Inspired by Deborah Willis’s groundbreaking book, Reflections in Black (Willis is also a co-producer), the documentary casts a broad net that begins with filmmaker Harris’s family album. It considers the difference between black photographers who use the camera to define themselves, their people, and their culture and some white photographers who, historically, have demeaned African-Americans through racist imagery. The film embraces both historical material (African-Americans who were slaves, who fought in the Civil War, were victims of lynchings, or were pivotal in the Civil Rights Movement) and contemporary images made by such luminaries as Roy DeCarava, Gordon Parks, and Carrie Mae Weems. Through a Lens Darkly is a cornucopia of Americana that reveals deeply disturbing truths about the history of race relations, while expressing joyous, life-affirming sentiments about the ability of artists and amateurs alike to assert their identity through the photographic lens.

Through a Lens Darkly will have a 2-week engagement August 27 – September 9 at Film Forum, 209 W. Houston St., with screenings daily at 12:45, 2:50, 5:10, 7:20, 9:30.

"[An] extraordinary new documentary. At-once a deep, rich dive into the history of African American photography and—transcending the subject at hand—a master class in visual literacy."– Mia Tramz, TIME online

"A sweeping narrative that traces from the 19th century to the 21st how African-Americans presented themselves in their own photos… Offers a much-needed correction to the historical record, where images of African-Americans—and Africans themselves—often resorted to offensive tableaux that not only demeaned their subjects, but also denied them their basic humanity." – David Gonzalez, The New York Times online

Through a Lens Darkly (2013, 92 mins.) Directed by Thomas Allen Harris. Inspired by the book Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers, 1840 to the Present by Deborah Willis. Produced by Harris, Willis, Ann Bennett, and Don Perry. Executive producers: John Singleton and Kimberley Steward. Written by Harris, Perry and Paul Carter Harrison. Cinematography: Martina Radwan. Editors: K.A. Miille and Matthew Cohn. Music: Vernon Reid and Miles Jay. USA. A First Run Features release.





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