Cinema Rediscovered: Claudine

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BBFC Ratingf-rated FilmCinema Rediscovered: Claudine

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CertificateNot Rated
GenreComedy, Drama, Romance
Director(s)John Berry
Writer(s)Tina Pine, Lester Pine
Running Time1HR 32MINS
SeasonCinema Rediscovered on Tour

In an attempt to counter the far-fetched excesses of the blaxploitation cycle popular at the time, Claudine focuses on the day to day struggles of a single black mother and her working class family. Restored in 4K.

Diahann Carroll is radiant in an unforgettable, Oscar-nominated performance as Claudine, a strong-willed single mother, raising six kids in Harlem, whose budding relationship with a gregarious garbage collector (an equally fantastic James Earl Jones) is stressed by the difficulty of getting by in an oppressive system.

As directed by the formerly blacklisted leftist filmmaker John Berry, this romantic comedy with a social conscience deftly balances warm humour with a serious look at the myriad issues—from cycles of poverty to the indignities of the welfare system—that shape its characters’ realities. The result is an empathetic chronicle of both Black working-class struggle and Black joy, a bittersweet, bighearted celebration of family and community set to a sunny soul soundtrack composed by Curtis Mayfield and performed by Gladys Knight & the Pips.


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