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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
The Kitchen The Kitchen

Filmmaker Alile Sharon Larkin visualizes a mental ward as a possible equivalent to prison incarceration for women of color.

L.A. in My Mind (2006) L.A. in My Mind

O.Funmilayo Makarah's captivating montage of notable Los Angeles sites, laced with free-floating names of places and people, becomes a delightful, personal canon of spiritually sustaining quantities.

A Little Off Mark (1986) A Little Off Mark

Writer-director Robert Wheaton’s story of a shy guy, Mark (Parros), trying all the wrong the moves to meet the right girl rides high on a romantic sensibility.

Maria's Story (1991) Maria's Story

Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 1991 Sundance Film Festival, Maria's Story follows Maria Serrano, a wife, mother, and guerrila leader on the frontlines of the battle for El Salvador three years before the end of a brutal civil war. 


Made as Ben Caldwell’s first project at UCLA, Medea is a collage film that explores the information that permeates into a child before it is born.

Momentum: A Conversation With Black Women on Achieving Advanced Degrees (2010) Momentum: A Conversation With Black Women on Achieving Advanced Degrees

Filmmaker Zeinabu irene Davis looks at the accomplishments of a cohort of students at the University of California San Diego. With Jukiana (Jules) Smith, Erin Malone, Dr. Edwina Welch, Dr. Monika Gosin, and Dr. Patricia G. Davis.

Film reel Mother of the River

Zeinabu irene Davis begins her film with a Yoruba proverb from Nigeria: “Riddles are the horses of discourse.” In this film, Dofimae is a young girl living in slavery who learns about the world through riddles told by her father. She meets and cares for an old shaman who calls herself Mother of the River, and who promises Dofimae to take her and her father up North someday. 


My Brother's Wedding (1983/2007) My Brother's Wedding

Laid off from his factory job, Pierce (Silas) marks time working at his family’s dry cleaning store, swapping loaded jabs with his brother’s upper middle-class fiancé and hanging out with his best friend, recently released from prison. Director Charles Burnett fleshes out Pierce’s sense of suspension with richly observed detail, the revelation of character bound to the revelation of an African American community, itself at a crossroads. 

My Dream is to Marry an African Prince

My Dream is to Marry an African Prince opens with a group of young students explaining their definition of royalty based on what they’ve seen in books, television, and films.

Film reel Nappy-Headed Lady

A work-in-progress by Melvonna Ballenger about middle class African American parents discussing why they have ordered their daughter to get rid of her afro.