Finding Christa (1991) 2K Restoration & The KKK Boutique Ain’t Just Rednecks (1994)
Director: Camille Billops, James Hatch Run Time: 125 min. Release Year: 1991
Language: United States
Double Feature presented as part of the retrospective series A String of Pearls: The Films of Camille Billops and James Hatch
Finding Christa (1991) 2K Restoration
This startlingly personal documentary presents a moving yet unsentimental view of motherhood and adoption. It explores the feelings surrounding the reunion of a young woman with her birth mother twenty years after being given up for adoption. The reunion is between filmmaker Camille Billops and her own daughter, Christa. 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.
“For Camille Billops, autobiography is a means to a new black documentary style.”
—Sight and Sound Magazine
Finding Christa (1991) won the Grand Jury Prize: Documentary at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival.
The KKK Boutique Ain’t Just Rednecks (1994)
Camille Billops and James Hatch trace the ways in which Americans have tried to ignore, deny, suppress, contain, tolerate, legislate, mock, and exploit racial discrimination within the United States. Like a modern-day Virgil and Dante, they drive, cajole, and lead their cast through a tour of the contemporary landscape of racism.
“Polemically essayistic tour (de force) through the history and presence of racial segregation in the US.”
—International Film Festival Rotterdam
About the filmmakers:
Camille Billops (1933-2019) was a fearless filmmaker, artist, sculptor, historian, archivist, and staunch supporter of Black art and artists. Billops came into her own within the converging contexts of the 1960s civil and human rights struggles, New York’s emerging Black artists movement, and her personal struggles for affirmation. Her work is autobiographical, interpretive, and challenging. Without apology, she successfully drew from her life’s experiences, her education, and her observations of the world around her to carve out a space for her voice to be heard. She and her husband James made their loft in SoHo a hub for artistic collaborations, collecting thousands of books, documents, photographs, and ephemera related to Black culture. They held salons with Black artists, performers, and musicians, and recorded more than 1,200 oral histories, which were published in an annual journal called Artist and Influence.
James V. Hatch (1928-2020) was a historian of Black theater who taught English and theater at the City College of New York for three decades. He has written and co-written more than a dozen books, including “The Roots of African American Drama: An Anthology of Early Plays, 1858-1938” (1990), which he edited with Leo Hamalian, and “Sorrow Is the Only Faithful One: The Life of Owen Dodson” (1993), about the titular Black poet and playwright.See our upcoming films