Within Our Gates – Free for Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, we're proud to share a piece of our Pioneers of African-American Cinema collection with you by offering Oscar Micheaux’s most celebrated film, Within Our Gates, for free during the entire month of February. Filmed over 100 years ago, Micheaux’s film is the earliest surviving feature film made by an African-American director and was named to the National Film Registry in 1992. Our restoration is presented in cooperation with the Library of Congress and features a musical score by Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky. Also included is a short documentary with film historian Charles Musser, author of Oscar Micheaux and His Circle, discussing the significance of Micheaux's life and work.

Click "Redeem Pass" and enter code PIONEER. Follow prompts to register or log in to your account – no subscription required! Code valid through February 28, 2021. Films will be available to watch for seven days from redemption.

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Within Our Gates

During her attempts to secure funding for an impoverished school serving the black community, an idealistic young teacher confronts her traumatic past, including the lynching of her parents by a white mob. Still startling for Micheaux's unflinching portrayal of racial violence and fearlessness in depicting taboo subject matter, WITHIN OUR GATES remains as powerful as it was a century ago.

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Oscar Micheaux: An Introduction by Charles Musser

Charles Musser is a Professor of Film & Media Studies at Yale University. He has written extensively on Paul Robeson and co-curated Robeson film retrospectives at the UCLA Film and Television Archive and the Museum of Modern Art. He also co-edited Oscar Micheaux and His Circle: African-American Filmmaking and Race Cinema of the Silent Era (2001).

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