Kathleen Collin’s ‘Losing Ground’ And The Joy of Discovery

#FUBU For Us By Us: Depictions of Black Girls and Women On Film By Black Women

A series of videographic essays on films featuring Black girls and Black women centered in narratives by directors who are women identifying as Black and/or belong to the African Diaspora.

Black girlhood. Black womanhood. Black sisterhood. Black families. Black struggles.
Black hopes and dreams. All through the lenses of Black, female film makers and storytellers.

Video essays will include synopses; stand out moments, significant themes in regards to Blackness and femininity and other elements like cinematography and acting. Ultimately it is to serve as a primer on Black women film makers you should know.

This series of videographic essays is planned created and executed by me, Carrie McClain as part of my work as an recipient of the 2019 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Creative Promise Fellowship. This is the second video, Losing Ground (1982) directed by Kathleen Collins.

Kathleen Collins’ previously thought lost film, Losing Ground, frames an evolving, complex character, places an emphasis on redefining and redeeming images of Black women and acts as connective tissue to Black film of the past.

Kathleen Collins was a storyteller and filmmaker who was a visionary whose work was not only groundbreaking but not fully appreciated in her lifetime before dying at age 46. Academic L.H. Staling observed that “…Losing Ground should be required viewing for any black woman, especially if she is a professor, academic, writer, filmmaker, feminist theorist, or artist, because of what the film teaches about intellect, creativity, desire, ecstasy, and black women’s agency.

It is poetic that Collins’s child, also a Black woman would revitalize an interest in her mother’s work and help preserve Black women on screen and page for future generations to come. There is a joy for me in discovering and sharing the works of Kathleen Collins, her interviews and getting just a glimpse of how vibrant and phenomenal she was as a filmmaker and writer.

Read more about this film, this series and my work in a thread on Twitter here.

Carrie is a writer, editor & media Scholar with an affinity for red lipstick living in California. She writes about literature, art, cinema & amazing women here on Medium. See more of her online on Twitter and Instagram!

⭐️ Writer, Editor & Media Scholar with an affinity for red lipstick living in California. Writes about literature, art, cinema & amazing women. ⭐️