Born in New York City, Lionel Rogosin, the son of a prominent industrialist, was a chemistry major at Yale and a Navy engineer before becoming the director of several socially conscious documentaries in the mid-’50s. His first, On the Bowery, won an award at the 1956 Venice Film Festival. His next film, a secretly filmed look at South African life, Come Back Africa (1959), earned him international acclaim. Rogosin then became known as the owner of the prestigious Bleecker Street Cinema, a now-defunct art theater in Greenwich Village. He also continued working on the occasional documentary through the early ’70s. —allmovie guide
Amid the institutionalized racism, economic exploitation, and the poverty and squalor of the townships, Rogosin finds a surprisingly vibrant street culture, with various dance and music performances, as well as a lively, if somewhat intoxicated debate on politics and religion. Read my full review: www.brnrd.net/blog/archive/2008/01/31/iffr-come-back-africa
The intellectual discussion in the shebeen followed by Miriam Makeba's singing is one of the most remarkable scenes in American film history, yet apparently the film hasn't even been screened on American TV.
Rogosin’s followup to On the Bowery is “a work of amazing grace — and a forgotten treasure.”
Adrian Curry looks at two new posters designed by Scott Meola.