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For Personal Reasons
BY
Madubuko Diakité

In 1970, aspiring Harlem filmmaker Madubuko Diakité (born 1940) brought a lightweight 16mm camera into a Black Panther demonstration in New York. Inspired by Jean-Luc Godard and cinéma vérité, Diakité wanted to take his camera into the streets to show reality as he saw it. The result was the documentary “For Personal Reasons” where Billy Curtis (Morgan Freeman’s younger brother) plays a young man who has had enough of racist police, and, influenced by Malcolm X, decides to take up arms. Diakité originally got the idea for the story from a newspaper article. With its theme of police brutality, its unforgiving voice over, and unseen Black Panther footage, “For Personal Reasons” is a rare cinematic gem that deserves its place in the canon of African-American films.

Aspect ratio 1,37:1 (Academy)
Prod. format 16mm
Duration 00:29:00
Year 1972
In text Madubuko Diakité
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About the artist

Madubuko Diakité

Madubuko Diakité is a Human Rights lawyer, researcher, writer, and documentary filmmaker born in Harlem in 1940. Diakité studied at the New York Institute of Photography but moved from the USA to Sweden in 1968 to study filmmaking and pursue a PhD in Cinema Studies. At this time he traveled frequently between Sweden, USA, and Nigeria, where he had partly grown up and would later found a film school. In 1992, he also earned a Licentiate in Law at Lund University, Sweden. Since then, Diakité has practiced law and researched Human Rights at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute in Lund and has been active in anti-discrimination organizations in Sweden. He has published several books, among them Film, Culture, and the Black Filmmaker and the autobiographical Not Even in Your Dreams. He continues to practice law and to research migration as a senior researcher emeritus in Sweden.

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