Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival


Retrospective of the L.A. Rebellion at the LEFFEST'22

The LEFFEST’22 presents, in Lisbon and Sintra, the most comprehensive European retrospective of the L.A. Rebellion – one of the founding movements of independent American cinema.

Driven by a set of political and social factors characteristic of the 1960s, a film movement emerged at the University of California, that challenged white hegemony in cinema and strongly opposed the prejudiced image of mainstream cinema over that community. This movement which is sometimes also identified as the Los Angeles School of Black Filmmakers gave rise to films played by semi-professional actors with modest budgets and represented the way black life was portrayed in the United States.

Charles Burnett in an interview on explained the importance of this movement: “I haven't thought of myself as being a rebellious person, or being in a rebellion in any way, even though that was what was taking place. It wasn’t until years later when people like Clyde Taylor [film critic that named the movement “L.A. REBELLION”] branded us in that way that I sort of accepted that was what we were doing. I remember one of the things I was worried about were those perpetuations of stereotypes and these narratives that were written by these other folks, starting back to Birth of a Nation. That film was incredibly offensive. I knew we were fighting against that, and the films that I was trying to make were trying to restore what was real.”

In a way of paying homage to the irreverence of the L.A. Rebellion, LEFFEST’22 features unprecedented screenings by 14 directors associated with the movement in a total of 18 outstanding works of this cinematographic trend. With the special presence of Charles Burnett, Billy Woodberry, Ben Caldwell, Julie Desh, and Haile Gerima, special guests at this year’s festival, there will also be an opportunity to talk to these personalities in talks included in the screenings of their films, as well as an exhibition, which will be presented by the director Ben Caldwell.
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