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Rated R · 90 minutes · 2013

Written, produced, and directed by Christopher St. John (best known for his supporting role in Shaft), this low-budget drama (1972) boldly combines Bergmanesque psychodrama, political satire, and blaxploitation-style action. St. John stars as a D.C. police officer whose fellow cops look down on him because he's black and whose family and friends look down on him for serving the Man. The film offers a remarkably serious and nuanced consideration of black upward mobility, which makes the broadly comic dream sequences (in which the hero imagines himself as Tarzan and the first African-American on the moon) that much more surprising. Long out of circulation in the U.S., this suggests an experimental African-American art cinema that never came to prominence, as challenging formally as it is politically.

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