Madeline Anderson's thirty-minute documentary I Am Somebody (1969) is about an African American female hospital workers’ strike in Charleston, South Carolina. Anderson shot the film on 16mm and showed it to striking workers in nontheatrical settings after its completion. Its production, exhibition, and reception history suggests some of the complexities at play when considering the categorization of nontheatrical material. According to Anderson, “In the criticisms and analyses of the film by some white feminists during the 1970s, I Am Somebody was not regarded as a feminist film. To me, the importance of the film was not its classification, however; it is a film made by a black woman for and about...
Marsha Gordon is a professor of film studies at North Carolina State University. She is the author of Film Is Like a Battleground: Sam Fuller's War Movies (Oxford University Press, 2017) and Hollywood Ambitions: Celebrity in the Movie Age (Wesleyan University Press, 2008), and coeditor of Learning with the Lights Off: Educational Film in the United States (Oxford University Press, 2012). She is the former coeditor of The Moving Image (University of Minnesota Press), the journal of the Association of Moving Image Archivists, and is currently completing a book titled Race and Nontheatrical Film for Duke University Press, coedited with Allyson Nadia Field.
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Marsha Gordon; Nontheatrical Media. Feminist Media Histories 1 April 2018; 4 (2): 128–134. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fmh.2018.4.2.128
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