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Focus: Charles Burnett


"I think a strong case can be made that Charles Burnett is the most gifted and important black film maker this country has ever had. But there’s a fair chance that you’ve never have heard of him...." Jonathan Rosenbaum, American film critic.

Watts was, and still is, one of these tough neighbourhoods in Los Angeles where gangs and ethnic minority communities live in a delicate balance with the police. Burnett (Vicksburg, Mississippi, 1944) came to Watts in 1947, so all of his memories of childhood and youth are linked to the neighbourhood, which would later become material for his films. It was at the University of California, in the cinema and ethno-communications department, that Burnett began to give form to his imagination and where, together with other film makers, he created the L.A. Rebellion, a creative, political space to give a voice to the most disadvantaged communities.

Burnett is considered a neo-realist director: in his films he portrays a direct, raw reality, but without ever neglecting lyricism, aesthetics and a humanist quest. Using his method of "approaching reality and showing what it hides”, Burnett was always a political director and, in this review of his filmography, we will learn about his thinking and his most emblematic works. The focus on his films and visit of the film maker will be completed with the joint publication (together with the Play-Doc International Documentary Festival) and presentation of the first world monograph dedicated to the African American author: Charles Burnett, full of anger but without hate.

Charles Burnett will attend, along with Victor Paz, coordinator of the publication.

In collaboration with the Play-Doc International Documentary Festival.

  • Date: Friday, 15 April 2016 > Saturday, 30 April 2016
  • Location: Cinema
Focus: Charles Burnett: