Monday, June 1, 2015

'The Blood of Jesus' is part of 300 years of black film-making at the Museum of Modern Art

A poster for Spencer Williams’s directorial debut. Credit via Museum of Modern Art, New York
NEW YORK---"The Blood of Jesus" is one of the films included in a series “A Road Three Hundred Years Long: Cinema and the Great Migration,” that opens today at the Museum of Modern Art.  Produced in 1941, it was described by The New York Times as "a gospel-documentary-ethnographic melodrama." Produced with financing by white backers, the films were part of a genre of "religious folk pageants" targeting black audiences and filled with black gospel music. The film series serves as a companion to MoMA exhibition One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North[link]
The Blood of Jesus. 1941. USA. Directed by Spencer Williams. Courtesy Sack Amusement Enterprises/Photofest