Abandoned by her fiancé, an educated black woman with a shocking past dedicates herself to helping a near bankrupt school for impoverished black youths.Abandoned by her fiancé, an educated black woman with a shocking past dedicates herself to helping a near bankrupt school for impoverished black youths.Abandoned by her fiancé, an educated black woman with a shocking past dedicates herself to helping a near bankrupt school for impoverished black youths.
With courage and determination, he set out to make movies for and about black people when it wasn't otherwise much done.
He was a pioneer in independent film-making, raising money in the most unusual places and unusual ways.
He deserves a lot of praise ... but, alas, his results were too often disappointing.
"Within Our Gates" has a lot of potential, but most of it is unmet.
The acting is pretty good, but the camera work and editing are lacking; and the script misses badly.
The story is a good one, and the school that is at the heart of a major subplot has a real-life counterpart: Professor Laurance Jones created a school for the black people of the piney woods near Jackson, Mississippi, in the very earliest years of the 20th century.
Professor Jones' story is incredibly inspiring and I urge everyone who cares about spirit and courage to take a look (http://www.antiqbook.com/boox/vol/21991.shtml is one source).
Micheaux and Jones have somewhat parallel lives, though Jones ultimately achieved recognition in his lifetime.
Micheaux should have, and I am grateful beyond words that at least his films are finally being seen by a wider audience.
They are flawed, yes, but they present two stories we all need to know about: The actual topic of the movie, and that of Micheaux himself.
The ending of this movie is, frankly, beyond my comprehension. It seems to come out of thin air, and I fear it must have been hastily tacked on in order to placate someone. Too bad, but still the movie is historically valuable.
This is added June 10, 2015: There is a print available at YouTube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1E0NrcnwAE
I haven't watched more than a few seconds, but so far it's a terrible print.
- Jan 15, 2009