1989, 1994 / 150 min. / NR
Director: Marlon Riggs

Black Gold: A Marlon Riggs Double Bill – TONGUES UNTIED + BLACK IS… BLACK AIN’T!

Join BLACK GOLD Wednesday, June 19th for a very special Marlon Riggs double bill, featuring two of the groundbreaking directors’ most important works, TONGUES UNTIED and BLACK IS… BLACK AIN’T! Both films enjoy milestone anniversaries this year – their 30th and 25th, respectively – and remain as prescient as ever.



“The seminal documentary on Black gay life, Emmy Award-winning director Marlon T. Riggs’ 1989 TONGUES UNTIED uses poetry, personal testimony, rap and performance (featuring poet Essex Hemphill and others), to describe the homophobia and racism that confront Black gay men.

A quarter of a century after its release, director Marlon T. Riggs’ documentary, winner of the Los Angeles Film Critics Award, and Best Documentary prize at the Berlin Film Festival, is as relevant as ever.

“My struggle has allowed me to transcend that sense of shame and stigma identified with my being a black gay man. Having come through that fire, they can’t touch me.” — Marlon T. Riggs”

Courtesy of Frameline.

“I didn’t want to write a poem that said blackness is
Because we know better than anyone
That we are not one or ten or ten thousand things
Not one poem…
– Elizabeth Alexander, Today’s News

BLACK IS… BLACK AIN’T serves as eloquent visual testimony to the fact that African Americans are not, in Alexander’s exacting words, one or ten or ten thousand things. This ground-breaking documentary, the last one crafted by the artful hands of filmmaker Marlon Riggs, identifies and confronts those forces that have attempted to consolidate, reduce, and contain the lives and experiences of African Americans. By naming these forces and marshalling a powerful critique, BLACK IS… BLACK AIN’T illuminates the complexities of black life. Riggs’ film constructs a cinematic space for ten thousand ways of seeing and understanding blackness in America.”

Courtesy of California Newsreel.

Generously sponsored by The Beguiling.

BLACK GOLD is made possible in part by the funding support from the Ontario Arts Council – Conseil des arts de l’Ontario, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

Black Gold wishes to acknowledge the Haudenosaunee, the Huron-Wendat, and the Mississaugas of the New Credit, the original keepers of this land, for hosting Black Gold and The Royal Cinema. Today, the meeting place of Tkaronto is still the home to many Indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work and present in this territory.

Upcoming Screenings:

None Currently Scheduled