Bill Gunn, actor, screenwriter, novelist, and the director of art-horror classic Ganja & Hess(1973), teamed with writer Ishmael Reed and producer Steve Cannon to produce what Reed has called a “meta-soap opera,” an exceptional ensemble piece shot on consumer-grade video circa 1980 exploring black working-class lives in New York City with candor and emotional intensity, featuring a who’s who of major artists, including Walter Cotton, Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor, Jim Wright, and Sam Waymon, with music by Carman Moore, and cinematography by Robert Polidori. Finally available in it's originally-intended full-length version, restored by Bret Wood at Kino Lorber, from the original camera tapes excavated by Jake Perlin and Ishmael Reed.
In addition to the online broadcast, a special in-person screening will be presented simultaneously on Friday, June 11th at 8pm at Maysles' Sidewalk Cinema (343 Malcolm X Blvd). Sidewalk Cinema is an opportunity for the community to gather for a socially-distant and masked viewing of a film on Fridays at sunset in front of Maysles Documentary Center.
Personal Problems will be available online from Friday, June 11 – Thursday, June 17.
Special thanks to Emily Apter, Aliyah Blackmore, and Inney Prakash (Maysles Documentary Center), Jonathan Hertzberg and Bret Wood (Kino Lorber) and Andrea Battleground.