Pioneers of African American Cinema: Hell-Bound Train (1930)
- Thu, Nov 7
Director: Eloyce Gist, James Gist Run Time: 51 min. Release Year: 1930
Country: United States
Thanks to the generous support of Donna and Larry James, Ingram White Castle Foundation, and Columbus City Council, Pioneers of African American Cinema returns for programming throughout 2024. On Thursday, November 7, join us at the Film Center for the screening of James and Eloyce Gist’s Hell-Bound Train (1930).
Additional financial support provided by the Greater Columbus Arts Council, Tom and Mary Katzenmeyer, Amundsen Davis and the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority.
About the film:
Travel train car by train car through the sins of the Jazz Age. The train continues on filled with unrepentant sinners hurtling toward damnation joined by an impish devil following along the way.
Created by the self-taught African American filmmakers, James and Eloyce Gist, Hell-Bound Train (1930) was largely an evangelistic tool for the filmmakers traveling ministry. The visuals were screened in churches and meeting halls accompanied by a sermon and the passing of a collection plate. Rather than following a typical linear storyline, the film dramatizes the sins of the Jazz Age, focusing on gambling, dancing, alcohol, and the mistreatment of animals.
About the filmmaker:
Built on a shared passion for religion, self-taught husband and wife filmmakers, James and Eloyce Gist made silent films for African American church communities as they traveled on mission. Following James Gist’s creation of Hell-Bound Train (1930), his wife, Eloyce, re-wrote and re-edited 16mm film and also helped re-shoot various sequences. This film is one of the only surviving silent films by early African American women filmmakers. The Gist’s work remains set apart by its distinct traits and purposes of moral education and social uplift.See our upcoming films