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  • A woman sits on a man's lap in the kitchen; they smile at each other.
  • A man and woman look out a broken window in the same direction.
  • Close-up on a woman who faces away from the man behind her.
  • A man and woman sit next to each other in a car.


12:30   4:25   8:00

Wednesday, February 12

(1964, Michael Roemer) On a night out, stogey-puffing Yaphet Kotto plays pinball to the beat of Martha Reeves’ “Heat Wave,” while co-worker Duff (Ivan Dixon) meets the preacher’s daughter at a church social. What follows is a cumulatively powerful portrait of a Black man struggling to maintain his dignity and self-respect in the Alabama of the early 1960s. Made by two young independents (director Roemer and cinematographer Robert Young), Nothing But a Man was a sensation at the Venice, London, and New York Film Festivals: at the latter, an audience of 2,000 bust into spontaneous applause. Superb b&w photography, a soundtrack of vintage Motown, and determinedly low-key performances highlight a pathbreaker of its time, universally praised by the critics, both white and Black. The soon-to-be-eminent cast also includes Gloria Foster, Julius Harris, and, as the school teacher / minister’s daughter courted by the troubled Duff, jazz great Abbey Lincoln. 35mm. Approx. 95 min.

Film Forum