Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
A one-man production team of impressive ingenuity and perseverance if not talent, Oscar Micheaux was a pioneer of African-American film. The director’s work, however, is problematic both politically and aesthetically. His hostility to fellow blacks was so pronounced that the Harlem chapter of the Communist Party campaigned (successfully) to end an engagement of 1937’s God’s Stepchildren, and J. Hoberman deems his films “so devastatingly bad that he can only be considered…as one of the medium’s major formal innovators.” Micheaux is the focus of Midnight Ramble, a documentary about “race films” to be shown at noon at the National Archives’ Theater, 7th & Pennsylvania Ave. NW. FREE. (202) 501-5000. (Mark Jenkins)