6 Replies Latest reply on Oct 1, 2021 9:46 AM by Kate Gillin

    Seeking James Baldwin documentary

    John Smith Wayfarer

      I'm looking for a way to view the 1982 documentary film about James Baldwin titled  "I Heard It Through the Grapevine." Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. discusses this documentary in his recent book Begin Again, but I've not found any way to view the film through usual film sources such as YouTube.  Any help finding a way to view it would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you.

        • Re: Seeking James Baldwin documentary
          Jason Atkinson Ranger

          Dear Mr. Smith,

           

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

          We searched WorldCat and located listings for editions available at several libraries. If these libraries are not convenient for you, you may wish to contact your local public and university libraries to see if they have copies which might not be listed on WorldCat. You also may inquire about the possibility of an interlibrary loan.

           

          We also located a statement in a New Yorker article saying that The Harvard Film Archive is restoring the documentary for a digital release early next year. You may wish to contact them for details.

           

          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

           

          3 people found this helpful
            • Re: Seeking James Baldwin documentary
              John Smith Wayfarer

              Dear Mr. Atkinson,

              Thank you for your very helpful, responsive reply to my question!  Per your suggestion, I sent an email to the Harvard Film Archive requesting additional information about their reported plans for a digital release in early 2021.  With the information you've provided, I consider my question to have been answered to my satisfaction.

              • Re: Seeking James Baldwin documentary
                John Smith Wayfarer

                Dear Mr. Atkinson,

                Having now followed up on your suggestion that I contact The Harvard Film Archive, I thought you and others might be interested in their very prompt, helpful reply, which I have copied and will paste below:

                 

                "Thanks for your message to the Harvard Film Archive, and I’m happy to hear of your interest in Grapevine. We are still working on this project and are hopeful there will be a release in the first part of 2021, though Covid has slowed down many of our preservation projects.  The filmmakers have tentative plans to release the film with a well-known distributor, so the release will certainly be well-publicized."

                3 people found this helpful
              • Re: Seeking James Baldwin documentary
                John Smith Wayfarer

                I'm thrilled to report that one extremely helpful researcher, Barmelo Xanthony, found, and shared with me, a link to the Baldwin documentary, 'I Heard It Through the Grapevine.'  For the benefit of others who may be seeking it I'll share the link here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AleWN3nMOmIVX8LXe0Qs9CAXcxlRhvzn/view?usp=sharing .

                 

                The Harvard Film Archive also advised that they plan to release the documentary -- one of their preservation projects --  early this year (2021).

                 

                The documentary is very powerful, as discussed at length in Professor Eddie Glaude, Jr.'s book Begin Again, especially in Chapter 6.  I highly recommend both the documentary and the book.

                 

                In case anyone might be seeking another documentary mentioned in the book, 'James Baldwin: From Another Place,' by Sedat Pakay, I have found a source for that as well, but only in the form of a DVD available for purchase from Pakay's family via the Hudson Film Works.  I can provide more information should anyone request.

                2 people found this helpful