We have a guest blog from Maia Krivoruk, intern extraordinaire. Ms. Krivoruk is currently a sophomore attending the University of Pittsburgh. She is a social work major with a concentration in global studies. She grew up in New Jersey as an active member of Girl Scouts along with involvement in Habitat for Humanity International. While home, she works for Milestone Film and Video where she can pursue her side interests in film and history.
I am currently an intern at Milestone Film and Video; therefore, I might be a little bias when it comes to their films. Over the past month, I have been fortunate enough to work on two films: Leo Hurwitz's "Strange Victory" and Kathleen Collins' "Losing Ground." Both are incredible masterpieces that shed light on often underrepresented populations within movies.
"Losing Ground" was created in the 1982 by the wonderful filmmaker, Kathleen Collins. Collins has two successful black professionals as her main characters who are experiencing a crisis in their marriage. Instead of casting African Americans as criminals, thieves, thugs (the stereotypical roles) – Collin's is able to represent a more accurate depiction. The wife, Sara (Seret Scott) is a university professor who is researching the Ecstatic Experience in order to experience it for herself. Her husband, Victor (Bill Gunn) is an abstract painter who uses his talents to get involved with other women. The film is a great representation of a couple in trouble – a problem that most people have had or might have regardless of skin color. It is truly refreshing to watch.
The second film, which I have I have worked very closely on is "Strange Victory." The film addresses the hypocritical post-WWII society. After just having fought a war overseas against Fascism and Nazism, black veterans and citizens return home to a similar environment. Racism and discrimination is still present on home soil. A majority of the film is actual footage from the war. The script is incredibly poetic and unapologetic. While researching the background of the film, we were able to discover that one of the actors was in fact a Tuskegee Airman, Virgil Richardson. He truly lived up to his role in "Strange Victory" as a black Air Corps veteran. This film is timeless; the issues it addresses, unfortunately, can represent societies throughout history...including today's. I highly recommend seeing it.
Both films fulfill the desire to be relevant to the world and committed to truth.