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Film and Video Collections

The film and video collections of the Pratt Institute Libraries encompass DVDs, BluRays, VHS tapes, 16mm films and streaming video subscriptions. Physical media circulates and can be viewed on the Lower Level of the Library.

This Week's Theme

Each week, we feature items from our collections which correspond to a theme chosen by our staff!

This week we're celebrating black history month with our favorite films directed by black women!

Directed by Black Women on Streaming

Pariah (2011)

A black teenager (Adepero Oduye) living in Brooklyn embraces her identity as a lesbian, but she struggles with how much she can confide in her parents (Kim Wayans, Charles Parnell).

Commandment Keeper Church, Beaufort South Carolina (1940)

This short documentary film directed by Zora Neale Hurston shows religious services taking place in a South Carolina Gullah community.

Illusions (1983)

It's 1942, one year after Pearl Harbor; the place is National Studios, a fictitious Hollywood motion picture studio. Mignon Duprée, a Black woman studio executive who appears to be white and Ester Jeeter, an African American woman who is the singing voice for a white Hollywood star are forced to come to grips with a society that perpetuates false images as status quo.. 

Hell-Bound Train (1930)

This film is the work of self-taught filmmakers James and Eloyce Gist, African American evangelists who employed cinema as a tool for their traveling ministry. Their surreal visual allegories were screened in churches and meeting halls, accompanied by a sermon and the passing of a collection plate. Rather than having a linear story, the film is instead a catalog of iniquity, a car-by-car dramatization of the sins of the Jazz Age (including gambling, dancing, alcohol, and the mistreatment of animals), presided over by a horned devil and culminating in a colossal derailment (a model train tossed into a bonfire)

Directed by Black Women on DVD