Oscar Micheaux: The Superhero of Black Filmmaking (2021)
Director: Francesco Zippel
Screenplay: Francesco Zippel
Starring: Oscar Micheaux, Chuck D, Jacqueline Stewart, Morgan Freeman and Mario Van Pebbles..
The Overview: Beware of Spoilers…
Oscar Micheaux was a writer, director and producer of both silent and sound movies. Micheaux has been called “the most successful African-American filmmaker of the first half of the 20th century.”
Oscar Micheaux has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, was honored by the Director’s Guild of America, the Producers Guild of America has an annual award named after him, he is in the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, his image has appeared on a US postage stamp, and there are multiple Film Festivals named after him! Sadly all of these accolades came posthumously. Outside of serious fans of film history, few know about Oscar Micheaux.
I first learned of Oscar Micheaux because he was the writer/director of Body and Soul starring Paul Robeson. Thanks to Oscar Micheaux: The Superhero of Black Filmmaking, I now know the life story of Micheaux. What an amazing story it is.
Micheaux didn’t let any obstacle hinder him. At a time when there weren’t as many opportunities for people of color, Micheaux was able to raise funds to create films that he would write, direct, produce and even personally distribute from town to town! He would then use the funds from his current film to finance his next movie. More importantly Micheaux created films of substance that still resonate today. Micheaux’s films dealt with race relations and featured complex characters in modern day settings. I wish more people knew about Oscar Micheaux. Thanks to Francesco Zippel we can.
Oscar Micheaux: The Superhero of Black Filmmaking rates 4 of 5 stars.