Skip Norman’s films made between 1966 and 1969 while a student at the Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (DFFB) were followed by the independent productions On Africa and Washington DC, November 1970. Most of the films were shown to some acclaim at film festivals (see Festivals) and then entered alternative distribution channels. In Germany, Blues People was distributed by the Hamburger Film Cooperative. In the UK, Politkino, founded by Andi Engel in 1969 in order to distribute Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub’s Chronicles of Anna Magdalena Bach (1968), took on three of his films: Strange Fruit (1969) and Washington DC, November 1970 and Blackman’s Volunteer Army of Liberation (both 1971). Judging from the Monthly Film Bulletin’s short review, it seems that Washington DC, November 1970 was distributed with the alternative title Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention, referring to the eponymous conference organized by the Black Panther Party in Philadelphia between September 4 and 7, 1970 and continued in Washington DC in late November of the same year. It is difficult to tell how successful the distribution efforts were and which audiences Skip Norman’s films reached at the time.

February 3rd, 2022 — Rosa Mercedes / 03 / Contexts