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Watch 3 Clips From *Forgotten* 1992 Black Science Fiction Documentary Titled 'Black Sci-Fi' (What Happened To It?)

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by Tambay A. Obenson
December 18, 2013 3:16 PM
3 Comments
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I love it when I come across *antics* like this, so that I can share with you folks!


Thanks to our friends at Afrofuturist Affair, here's a look at a 1992 documentary titled simply Black Sci-Fi, which was directed by a Terrence Francis, for the BBC in the UK.

Included in the film, which focuses on black science fiction in literature, film and television, are interviews with black sci-fi notables like authors Octavia Butler, Samuel R. Delaney, and Steven Barnes, as well as actress Nichelle Nichols, and others.

This is my intro to the documentary; further research revealed nothing, but I haven't stopped digging yet. Maybe in sharing it here, someone out there will be able to enlighten those of us who aren't in-the-know. 

I did find a filmmaker named Terrence Francis living in South Africa currently. It could very well be the same person, as, in sniffing about a little more, I found a 2010 notice revealing that Francis was working on a Dumas trilogy for both TV and film - Dumas as in the 3 generations of Dumas men, the most famous being Alexandre Dumas, the world-famous author of classics like The Count Of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers, who was of African descent.

Whether Francis is still working on that trilogy, I couldn't determine. But I found no contact info for him/her, so, again, if anyone reading this knows more than I do, please share in the comments section, or email me: obensont@gmail.com.

There's no IMDB page for Terrence Francis, and certainly not for the documentary, which unfortunately, isn't available online in full; but, thankfully, a YouTube user named Doctor Zerkalo's Monitor Zone uploaded 3 clips from it, which are all embedded below, providing a glimpse of what was. I did send a message to the user, hoping they can tell me more.

By the way, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that there's a new documentary in the works titled Invisible Universe: A History Of Blackness In Speculative Fiction, from M. Asli Dukan, which explores the relationship between African Diasporic images and popular fantasy, horror, science fiction literature and film, as well as the alternative perspectives produced by content creators of color. The documentary features interviews with major writers, scholars, artists and filmmakers and explores comics, television, film and literature by deconstructing stereotyped images of black people in the genres, revealing how black creators have been consciously creating their own universe.


The project, which has been in production since 2003, and which we've been following for a couple of years, continues to be in need of funding to be completed. It's a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization, which is also where you can contribute to its completion fund by clicking HERE

Watch all 3 clips from Black Sci-Fi below:

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3 Comments

  • Floyd Webb | January 18, 2014 9:55 AMReply

    Thanks Tambay, I'm on it. Hope to screen this in Chicago at Black World Cinema in May.

  • Tananarive Due | December 20, 2013 11:17 AMReply

    Thanks so much for posting this! Priceless.

  • Victor Raymond | December 18, 2013 6:26 PMReply

    As a follow-up to this amazing documentary, please check out the Carl Brandon Society, dedicated to advancing the presence of people of color in speculative fiction.

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