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This Time It's Personal: Program1 film image

"This Time It's Personal"

Films by Camille Billops & James Hatch (Programme 1)
Suzanne, Suzanne; The KKK Boutique Ain’t Just Rednecks

Black History Month: Dispatches

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Trailblazing artist and polymath Camille Billops and her partner in life and work, James Hatch, left behind rich legacies as archivists of Black cultural life and as courageous independent filmmakers who chronicled the ups and downs of their own lives and family histories, and found in them the temperature of their times.

The films they made together, while grounded in documentary, use a range of techniques including reenactments, dramatization, and satire to illuminate the ways in which race, gender, and class shape everyday life, and despite their traumatic subject matter, exude compassion, humour and humanity.

Billops died in 2019 at the age of 85. In addition to filmmaking, she was an important sculptor, ceramicist, printmaker, archivist and writer. Some of her work as a photographer and sculptor is currently on display in an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Hatch, her husband, was a playwright, screenwriter, professor, and archivist in addition to documentary filmmaker. He died in 2020 at the age of 91.

 

SUZANNE, SUZANNE (1982, 25 min)
Suzanne, Suzanne presents a devastating portrait of the artist’s niece, a heroin addict haunted by the abuse she suffered as a child and the passivity of the family members who allowed it to continue.
New 4K restoration

Remains one of the most powerful documentaries of domestic life.”
– bell hooks, Reel to Real

THE KKK BOUTIQUE AIN’T JUST REDNECKS (1994, 59 min)
Evoking Dante’s Inferno during a tour of the South, 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. The film features parodic game shows (the contestants made up of the filmmakers’ family and friends) which mock taboos around race and gender.
New 2k restoration

Director

Camille Billops & James Hatch

Country of Origin

USA

Year

1982

Language

English

19+
84 min

Book Tickets

Sunday February 26

12:50 pm
VIFF Centre - Studio Theatre
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"This Time It's Personal" Films by Camille Billops & James Hatch (Programme 2)

The second programme in our short selection of independent films by Camille Bishops and James Hatch includes what is probably their masterpiece, Finding Christa, a deeply personal film about Camille's relationship with the daughter she gave up for adoption as a child.

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Our Dance of Revolution

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