Black lives matter. And 15-Time Grammy Winner Alicia Keys knows it so well, she executive produced How It Feels to Be Free (PBS Distribution), an essential documentary that takes an unprecedented look at the intersection of African American women artists, politics and entertainment and tells the story of how six trailblazing performers—Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln, Diahann Carroll, Nina Simone, Cicely Tyson and Pam Grier—changed American culture through their films, fashion, music and politics while challenged by entertainment industry deeply complicit in perpetuating racist stereotypes, and transformed themselves and their audiences in the process.
The film features interviews and archival performances with all six women, as well as original conversations with contemporary artists influenced by them, including Keys, Halle Berry, Lena Waithe, Meagan Good, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Samuel L. Jackson and other luminaries, as well as family members, including Horne’s daughter Gail Lumet Buckley.
Based on the book How It Feels To Be Free: Black Women Entertainers and the Civil Rights Movement by Ruth Feldstein, the film highlights how each woman — singer, dancer and actress Lena Horne; jazz vocalist, songwriter and actress Abbey Lincoln; Tony-winning actress, singer and model Diahann Carroll; jazz, blues and folk singer Nina Simone; actress and model Cicely Tyson; and actress Pam Grier — harnessed their celebrity to advance the civil rights movement.
“These revolutionary Black women embody stories of courage, resilience and heroism. They fought for representation and economic, social and political equality through their artistry and activism,” said Michael Kantor, American Masters series executive producer. “We are proud to share the stories of how each left an indelible mark on our culture and inspired a new generation.”
Executive producer Alicia Keys adds, “I am proud to be a part of such a meaningful, important project. Art is the most powerful medium on the planet, and I continue to be inspired by and learn from these powerful, brave and stereotype-shattering women who leveraged their success as artists to fearlessly stand up against racism, sexism, exclusion and harassment. I honor their courage by celebrating their stories and continuing the work they started.”
Sid Haig! Pam Grier! Christopher Lee! Bruce Lee! Greats from my childhood . . . in a slew of great flicks from VCI/MVD Entertainment.
What comes after World War III? A spaceship returns from deep space to find the Earth in The Aftermathof a nuclear and biological war. The streets are filled with mutated survivors feeding off the weak and a Manson-like figure called Cutter (Sid Haig) is reigning terror down on all others. Cutter and his gang of mercenary thugs are systematically murdering all the male survivors and enslaving women and children. This cult classic 1982 post apocalyptic sci-fi movie makes its Blu-ray debut. The Aftermath was originally banned in the UK and labeled a “Video Nasty” and contributed to its cult status!
Animal desires . . . human lust! Such is the glory and gore of Twilight People. Matt Farrell (John Ashley) is plucked from the sea while skin-diving and taken to the foreboding fortress of Dr. Gordon. He is to become part of the doctor’s diabolical experiment to create a race of super people. This twisted and maniacal doctor’s experiments have so far only created terrifying and hideous creatures.
His human guinea pigs, freed by the doctor’s own daughter, turn the island hideaway into a bloodbath of revenge and terror! Cult Film Queen Pam Grier is featured as “Panther Woman”.
A college student Nan is researching the history of witchcraft in City of the Dead. Taunted by her brother and fiance, who have voiced their concerns, Nan arms herself with resolve and drives to the small New England village of Whitewood. She is glad she was able to count on the support of her professor. A bit anxious but consumed with curiosity, she will soon embark herself on the journey of her life! Legendary Christoper Lee stars; this remastered edition includes a 45-minute interview with him, as well as a feature length commentary by Lee.
Bruce’s Deadly Fingers, finally released for the first time ever in widescreen high definition and produced from a new 2K scan from the 35mm original negative. If you are a fan of the master, Bruce Lee, and other “Bruceploitation films,” then this deluxe Blu-ray + DVD combo is a must for your film collection! After malicious gangsters capture Bruce Lee’s ex-girlfriend, a young martial artist attempts to rescue her and the late master’s book containing lethal techniques for killing with one’s fingers. Plenty of Kung-fu action and mayhem including a particularly gruesome scene involving the torture of a girl with a deadly snake!