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Losing Ground (1982)

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USA | 86 min | NR | DCP | Dir. Kathleen Collins

Collins’s brilliant second film, the 1982 comic drama Losing Ground, centers on the experiences of Sara (Seret Scott), a university professor whose artist husband Victor (Bill Gunn) rents a country house for a month to celebrate a recent museum sale. The couple’s summer idyll becomes complicated as Sara struggles to research the philosophical and religious meaning of ecstatic experience… and to discover it for herself. When she agrees to appear in a short directed by one of her one of her students, Sara’s search for the “ecstatic moment” and her struggles with Victor’s indiscretions are reflected in the plot of the student film. Performing with Duke (Duane Jones), her charismatic co-star, Sara acts the part of the jealous lover in a film version of the song “Frankie and Johnny.” By the end of shooting, she experiences a moment of profound and shattering emotion that calls her ordered intellectual existence into question. One of the very first fictional features by an African-American woman Losing Ground remains brilliant, stunning, and a powerful work of art. (Description from Milestone Films)

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