Skip to main content

Screening of Cane River (Horace Jenkins, USA, 1982, 104 minutes)

Venue: Online

No booking required

Cane River


Written, produced, and directed by Emmy Award-winning documentarian, Horace B. Jenkins, and crafted by an entirely African American cast and crew, CANE RIVER is a racially-charged love story in Natchitoches Parish, a “free community of color” in Louisiana. A budding, forbidden romance lays bare the tensions between two black communities, both descended from slaves but of disparate opportunity—the light skinned, property-owning Creoles and the darkerskinned, more disenfranchised families of the area.

This lyrical, visionary film disappeared for decades after Jenkins died suddenly following the film’s completion, robbing generations of a talented, vibrant new voice in African American cinema.

Following the screening a discussion will take place between Kevin MacDonald (Professor of African Archaeology) and Mathew Barrington (Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image) exploring Kevin's work on the Cane River African Diaspora Archaeological Project. (


Prof Kevin MacDonald of UCL has been working for over 30 years on the history and archaeology of West Africa (principally in Mali and Senegal). Since 2001 he has been present most summers as an advisor in various projects with the US National Park Service in the Cane River area of northwestern Louisiana. Over that time he has worked primarily with the historical properties of the Metoyer family, descendants of the important historical figures Marie-Therese Coincoin (of Bakongo parentage) and Pierre Metoyer (of Bordeaux, France). His research in Cane River includes archival, architectural, heritage, and archaeological subjects with related publications across a variety of books and journals.


19:00 Commencement of Q+A

20:00 END

Link to Conversation:

To access the film please use the following link, using the promo code BIRKBECK to watch the film for free:

Contact name: