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still Losing Ground (Kathleen Collins, US 1982)

Losing Ground

Kathleen Collins / US, 1982 / 86 min.

One of the very first fictional features by an African-American woman, recovered after 25 years, Losing Ground remains a timeless and powerful work of art. It tells the story of a marriage of two remarkable people, both at a crossroads in their lives searching for 'ecstasy'.

poster Losing Ground (Kathleen Collins, US 1982)

Sara Rogers, a black professor of philosophy, is embarking on an intellectual quest to understand “ecstasy” just as her painter husband Victor sets off on a more earthy exploration of joy. While dealing with strong individuals and feelings, Kathleen Collins described it as a comedy about a young woman who takes herself too seriously.

Funny, brilliant and personal, Losing Ground should have ranked high in the canon of indie cinema. But the early 1980s was not an easy time for women or independent filmmakers and the film was never theatrically released. Twenty-five years after her mother’s death, Nina Collins rescued the original negative and created a beautiful new digital master of her mother’s film. Losing Ground now looks and sounds as fresh, bracing and complex as it did when it was first filmed. It is a testament to Kathleen Collins’ incredible talent and a lasting treasure of African American and women’s cinema.

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Kathleen Collins

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Losing Ground


86 min.







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Eye on Art

Eye on Art is a programme on the intersection between film and other arts. Eye on Art keeps up with current events, with presentations on contemporary artists and programmes that coincide with important exhibitions, manifestations and Eye activities.

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still from Cloacinae Serge Onnen & Sverre Fredriksen, NL 2017)

Why in Eye

“When white distributors saw this, they said, “we don’t know any black people like that. We don’t know any black women like that. This is amazing because where’s the racial angle here?” I posit that that movie has so many racial angles. The premise of the movie is that no one is going to mythologise my life. No one is going to refuse me the right to explore my experiences of life as normal experiences, as human experiences.” - Kathleen Collins

still Losing Ground (Kathleen Collins, US 1982)
still Losing Ground (Kathleen Collins, US 1982)
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