Cornell Cinema Stands with Black Lives Matter

Fri, 06/05/2020

Black Lives Matter.

Cornell Cinema, a program of the Department of Performing and Media Arts (PMA), stands with the current protests against police violence. As PMA’s statement says, 

“We in Performing and Media Arts condemn acts of violence against Black people, including the recent and highly publicized murders by police of George Floyd in Minnesota and of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, and by civilians of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia…PMA stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.”


Read the full statement here.

Film and video are important tools in the continuing search for justice and in raising awareness of Black, Indigenous & People of Color’s (BIPOC) lives. Here are some current opportunities we are aware of and wish to share:

The Murder of Fred Hampton

In case you missed Cornell Cinema's screening of The Murder of Fred Hampton when we showed it in February, here's another chance to see it and reflect on the history of racial injustice & police violence against African-Americans in this country. The Ashland Independent Film Festival is streaming it on June 5, and also showing Down a Dark Stairwell, on the 2014 police killing of Akai Gurley in New York, on June 9.  Tonight’s screening will be available until 11pm EDT (8 pm PDT). Runtime is 88 minutes. The screening of The Murder of Fred Hampton is free. This great festival is run by former Cornell Cinema director Richard Herskowitz.

The Criterion Channel

Wow! “The Criterion Channel on Thursday joined the wave of industry supporters who’ve come out in the past week to help fight systemic racism, and help advocate for police reform and support protesters across America.... In an email from the Criterion president Peter Becker and CEO Jonathan Turell [who is a Cornell alum!], the company announced a $25,000 initial contribution, followed by an ongoing $5,000 monthly commitment for organizations supporting Black Lives Matter. But Criterion also announced that it’s lifting the paywall on select titles from Black filmmakers, and white filmmakers who’ve captured the Black experience through documentary, so that audiences at home can stream them for free, with no need for a subscription.” (

Among the amazing titles available is Agnès Varda’s short documentary Black Panthers, which Cornell Cinema was scheduled to show on March 18 & 22, but had to cancel due to the pandemic lockdown.

Just Mercy

Warner Bros. has made Just Mercy free to stream to educate viewers on systematic racism. Civil rights legal drama starring Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx will be free for the month of June in light of the George Floyd protests.

Streaming free on Amazon.

We will add more films to this list as we find them.


text 'black films' along with image of posters for THE MURDER OF FRED HAMPTON and DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST