Seattle Black Arts and Culture: Camille Billops
March 29 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm PDT
Family Trilogy Screening
Wednesday, March 29, 2023
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM PST
Suzanne, Suzanne (1982) presents a devastating portrait of the artist’s niece, haunted by the abuse she suffered as a child and the passivity of the family members who allowed it to continue.
Finding Christa (1991) is a startlingly personal documentary that explores the feelings surrounding the reunion between filmmaker Camille Billops and her own daughter, Christ, twenty years after being given up for adoption. Facing the re-encounter with mixed emotions, Billops interrogates her family and friends as well as her own motivations. The result is an original and daring work that challenges social biases about adoption and offers new insight into mother-daughter relationships.
A String of Pearls (2002) in the final installment of her acclaimed Family Trilogy Camille Billops turns the camera on four generations of men in her family and considers the ways in which urban violence, unemployment, and the early deaths of their own fathers have shaped their lives.
4k restoration of Camille Billops and James Hatch’s Family trilogy; Suzanne, Suzanne, Finding Christa and A String of Pearls.
Co-presentation between LANGSTON and SIFF of the new 4k restoration of Camille Billops and James Hatch’s Family Trilogy.
Trailblazing artist and polymath Camille Billops (1933–2019) and her partner in life and work, James Hatch (1928–2020), left behind invaluable legacies as archivists who worked tirelessly to preserve records of Black cultural life and as filmmakers who turned their unflinching camera on Billops’s own, often painful personal experiences. The films they made together, while grounded in documentary, use a range of techniques including reenactments, dramatization, and satire to illuminate the ways in which race, gender, and class shape everyday life.
In their Family Trilogy—SUZANNE, SUZANNE; FINDING CHRISTA; and A STRING OF PEARLS—the pair cover more than thirty years of troubling truths from Billops’s own family, tackling issues of drug addiction, abuse, unwanted pregnancy, and motherhood with fearless honesty.