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Featuring well-known L.A. Rebellion works alongside rarely seen student films, this body of work represents not only the originality of the individuals whose names are on them, but a collective vision as well. Across the two decades during which they made their presence felt at UCLA, and in the decades since, individual L.A. Rebellion artists have focused on diverse topics and responded to evolving political and artistic thought through their work. Explorations of class, considerations of historical legacies, stories attentive to concerns of local communities and appreciations of other Black arts are only some of the areas of exploration. The films also display a diversity of forms, from irreverent reconfigurations of well-worn genre types, to groundbreaking experiments with cinematic language. Certain works, long out of circulation, represent rediscoveries and will certainly lead to much future scholarship.

Learn more about the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s ongoing “L.A. Rebellion” inititiative.

Title Year
Dark Exodus (1985) Dark Exodus

Visualizing the migration of African Americans from the rural South to the industrial North in sepia tones, Iverson White’s period film captures the atmosphere of early 20th century America.

Daughters of the Dust (1991) Daughters of the Dust

Julie Dash’s masterpiece, the first American feature by an African American woman to receive a general theatrical release, announced a formidable talent with its story of an island family, descendants of escaped slaves, living off the Southern coast of the US in 1902 and contemplating a move to the U.S. mainland.  Superb performances, cinematography, music and touches of magical realism, grace this unforgettable film.

The Dawn at My Back: Memoir of a Black Texas Upbringing (2003) The Dawn at My Back: Memoir of a Black Texas Upbringing

This evocative DVD-ROM from the Labyrinth Project, based on a memoir by Carroll Parrott Blue, leads viewers on a rich visual and textual exploration of Blue’s family history, and of the history of Houston’s black community.

A Day in the Life of Willie Faust, or Death on the Installment Plan A Day in the Life of Willie Faust, or Death on the Installment Plan

Jamaa Fanaka’s first project is an adaption of Goethe’s Faust, superimposed over a remake of Super Fly. A morality tale in two reels.

Daydream Therapy Daydream Therapy

Bernard Nicolas' Daydream Therapy,set to Nina Simone’s haunting rendition of “Pirate Jenny” poetically envisions a hotel worker’s escape from workplace indignities through vivid fantasy.


O.Funmilayo Makarah's oblique meditation on the semiotics of ethnic female identity accompanies a cynical narration about how to “win an invitation to the dominant culture.”

The Diary of an African Nun (1977) The Diary of an African Nun

A nun in Uganda weighs the emptiness she finds in her supposed union with Christ. Julie Dash adapted Alice Walker's short story.

A Different Image (1982) A Different Image

An African American woman contemplates self-identity, heritage and perception on the streets of the sprawling Los Angeles metropolis in a film by Alile Sharon Larkin.

Film reel Diversity

Diversity is a record of the May 25th protest of UCLA students concerning the University's policies towards people of color, and programs to serve their needs.

Dreadlocks and the Three Bears (1991) Dreadlocks and the Three Bears

Forget what you know about Goldilocks. For L.A. Rebellion filmmaker Alile Sharon Larkin, it's all about "Dreadlocks."