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Agnès Varda: filming the Black Panthers's Struggle

By Delphine Letort


Agnès Varda directed two documentaries on the Black Panthers in 1968. Huey captures the militant atmosphere of the “free Huey” campaign whereas Black Panthers focuses on its local impact on the African American community of Oakland.Based on her own experience in California where she was living in 1968, Agnès Varda’s films provide a first-hand window into the culture of the Panthers. This article compares the aesthetic and political discourse of the two documentaries: from the observational mode of Huey to the expository mode of Black Panthers, the filmmaker strives to debunk the portrayal of the Panthers, who were framed as a menace in the media. Through a close analysis of Varda’s films, we aim to decipher the theatrical politics of the Panthers which the film unquestioningly portrays in counterpoint to the more recent historiographical studies that highlight gender inequalities within the party

Topics: Agnès Varda, Black Panthers, documentary, media, subjectivity, Latin America. Spanish America, F1201-3799, Social Sciences, H
Publisher: Institut Pluridisciplinaire pour les Etudes sur l'Amérique Latine
Year: 2014
DOI identifier: 10.4000/orda.1646
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