This is one of the best independent films to debut on PBS since the days of American Playhouse. The film received funding from ITVS and is the final program of this season’s Independent Lens (which will return in the fall after POV concludes). There were many good reviews during a brief theatrical release last year.
The film weaves contemporary color sequences between the student and the elderly artist with black and white sequences with Nugent and Wallace Thurman, Aaron Douglas, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston.
One of the producers of the film is Jim McKay who directed Our Song and Everyday People.
Because of the FCC and congressional crackdown on content on television, PBS is airing an edited version. A couple of years ago, stations probably would have been able to choose between an edited and unedited version. Now, people will have to get the DVD to view the complete film. The DVD is worth getting. It also includes several deleted scenes, two good commentaries by actor Anthony Mackie and director Rodney Evans, and an interview with Evans.
But seeing it on PBS is still much better than not watching it at all.
Strangely, KQED in San Francisco only currently has the film (which played last year at both the SF International Festival and the Frameline LGBT fest) scheduled on one of their digital channels.
Update>: KQED is showing it on July 12, 2005 at 11 pm.