Losing Ground

Newly restored, Losing Ground is one of the first feature films written and directed by a black woman, and a groundbreaking romance exploring women’s sexuality, modern marriage, and the life of artists and scholars. But most of all, it is a great film, one that firmly belongs in the canon of American independent cinema in the 1980s. Sara (Seret Scott) is a philosophy professor and her husband Victor (Bill Gunn) is a painter, and with their personal and professional lives at a crossroads, they leave the city for the country, experiencing a reawakening, both together and separately. Also featuring Duane Jones (Night of the Living Dead), the film is honest, funny, and wise, and a testament to the remarkable playwright, professor, and filmmaker Kathleen Collins, as well as the immense talent that was lost when she passed away in 1988 at age 46.

“Feels like news, like a bulletin from a vital and as-yet-unexplored dimension of reality… This movie is fascinating — a puzzle and a marvel, eliciting wonder and provoking questions.” —A.O. Scott, The New York Times

“A nearly lost masterwork… plays like the record of a life revealed in real time.” —Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“That Losing Ground still feels fresh, over 3 decades later, is not only a testament to its timelessness, but also is sadly indicative of how scarce complex depictions of the inner lives of women—specifically black women—are, in contemporary American cinema.” —Tambay A. Obenson, Shadow and Act

Restored by the Yale Film Archive and The Film Foundation in collaboration with Milestone Films.Funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation.

1h 26m
Kathleen Collins
First Showing
May 14, 2023
  • Assisted Listening