Skip to content

Directed by Tracy Heather Strain

United States 2017 118 mins.

“Lorraine Hansberry was a Black writer, communist, feminist, lesbian, and outspoken trailblazer at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. She led an active life, befriending James Baldwin, inspiring Nina Simone, breaking barriers from Broadway to Hollywood, being monitored by the FBI, and seeking love on her own terms, all before her untimely death at age 34. Drawing upon multiple archives, the film goes deep into the stage and screen productions of Hansberry’s landmark work A Raisin in the Sun, about at Black family in her hometown Chicago. We hear from Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Louis Gossett Jr., and others involved in its productions. For audiences who know Hansberry mainly for that work, Strain deepens our understanding of the writer’s history, politics, and personal life. The film title comes from Hansberry’s view that “one can not live with sighted eyes and feeling heart and not know or react to the miseries which afflict this world.”—Toronto International Film Festival. Tracy Heather Strain will be on hand to talk about her film.

Genres: Documentary



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.