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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
To Sleep With Anger (1990) To Sleep With Anger

Charles Burnett’s celebrated fable is a singular artistic achievement that transcends categorization, incorporating elements of drama, dark comedy and magical realism. Within this densely-layered framework, Burnett incisively examines the complexities of modern middle-class Black life as an African American family becomes engaged in a metaphorical and metaphysical tug-of-war with the age-old cultural traditions of their former home in the South.

No image Tommy

A lonely teenage boy with a limp, who lives with his verbally abusive and neglectful grandmother, finally decides to leave home. 


Trumpetistically, Clora Bryant

Zeinabu irene Davis' fond portrait, rich with tunes and anecdotes of pioneering female jazz trumpeter Clora Bryant, a proponent of West Coast jazz whose early stints with the International Sweethearts of Rhythm led eventually to collaborations with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, among others.

Ujamii Uhuru Schule Community Freedom School Ujamii Uhuru Schule Community Freedom School

Don Amis’ documentary chronicles the day-in-the-life of an Afrocentric primary school located in South Los Angeles. Learn, baby, learn.

Varnette's World: A Study of a Young Artist (1979) Varnette's World: A Study of a Young Artist

Director Carroll Parrott Blue presents the colorful and inspiring work of up-and-coming L.A. painter Varnette Honeywood whose renderings of everyday black life flow from her involvement with local youth and a black artist collective.

Water Ritual #1: An Urban Rite of Purification (1979) Water Ritual #1: An Urban Rite of Purification

In collaboration with performer Yolanda Vidato, Barbara McCullough presents a Black woman’s attempt to expel the putrefaction she has absorbed from her blighted urban environment, while symbolically cleansing the environment itself.

"The Wedding" (1998) "The Wedding"

Charles Burnett directed this Oprah Winfrey-produced television miniseries based on the novel by Dorothy West.  As the rebellious daughter of old-monry Black parents prepares to wed a working class white musician, her attention is captured by nouveau riche Black suitor.

Welcome Home, Brother Charles (1975) Welcome Home, Brother Charles

Marketed as a Blaxploitation film, Welcome Home, Brother Charles subversively co-opts genre conventions to examine plantation-born racial myths surrounding Black male sexuality and white fears. On its surface a revenge tale of an African American man framed by the white establishment, the film reveals unexpected levels of surrealism and social commentary thanks to Jamaa Fanaka’s use of symbolism and subtext.

When It Rains (1995) When It Rains

In Charles Burnett's New Year’s Day drama, a man tries to help a woman pay her rent and learns a lesson in connecting with others in a community. 

Your Children Come Back to You (1979) Your Children Come Back to You

Alile Sharon Larkin's film looks at a mother, a child, a better life on the horizon, and a bond that cannot be broken.