Thursday, March 16, 2017

Within Our Gates

After her engagement is sabotaged by a jealous rival, a young woman returns to the South in order to save an impoverished rural school while her family's harrowing history of lynching is told in flashback. Within Our Gates has the distinction of being the oldest surviving movie directed by a black person but this tag really undercuts the fact that Oscar Micheaux's film is just a solidly crafted work able to stand alongside other great silent dramas. Edgy, relevant, and assuredly filmed with great use of intercutting in the finale.
*** 1/2 out of ****