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We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. If you have questions about accessibility or require an accommodation such as CART captioning or ASL interpretation to participate in this event, please contact Accessibility Manager Helyn Marshall at firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone at (614) 688-3890. Requests made by two weeks in advance will generally allow us to provide seamless access, but the Wexner Center for the Arts will make every effort to meet requests made after this date.
Oscar Micheaux's powerful detective story is a still-relevant indictment of institutional racism in its depiction of a Black man wrongly accused of murder.
In Murder in Harlem, the lifeless body of a white woman is discovered by a Black night watchman at a chemical factory. The police quickly pin the crime on him in what appears to be an open-and-shut case. Or so it appears until the watchman’s sister asks a former beau, who is now a lawyer, to dig into matter.
Based on a notorious 1913 real-life case that preoccupied the filmmaker, Murder in Harlem is Micheaux's remake of his own 1921 film The Gunsaulus Mystery, now considered to be lost. (96 mins., 4K DCP)
As Wil Haygood notes in his book Colorization: One Hundred Years of Black Films in a White World (2021), Micheaux "had come into Black filmmaking when it hardly existed, creating much of its origins and giving it ballast and a heartbeat. What D. W. Griffith had drilled into the minds of white Americans—that Blacks were untrustworthy and devoid of humanity—Oscar Micheaux tried to undo."
Murder in Harlem | Image courtesy of The Film Foundation
Restored by the George Eastman Museum and Cineteca di Bologna in association with The Film Foundation, Quoiat Films, and Sky from a 35mm nitrate print in the SMU/Tyler Film Collection, SMU Libraries, deposited at the George Eastman Museum. Restoration performed at George Eastman Museum Film Preservation Services and L'Immagine Ritrovata laboratory.
FILM/VIDEO PROGRAMS MADE POSSIBLE BY
ADDITIONAL SUPPORT PROVIDED BY
Rohauer Collection Foundation
WEXNER CENTER PROGRAMS MADE POSSIBLE BY
The Wexner Family
Greater Columbus Arts Council
The Columbus Foundation
Ohio Arts Council
American Electric Power Foundation
L Brands Foundation
Mary and C. Robert Kidder
Bill and Sheila Lambert
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease
Arlene and Michael Weiss
ADDITIONAL SUPPORT PROVIDED BY
Mike and Paige Crane
Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
President Kristina M. Johnson and Mrs. Veronica Meinhard
Russell and Joyce Gertmenian
Liza Kessler and Greg Henchel
Ron and Ann Pizzuti
Joyce and Chuck Shenk
Bruce and Joy Soll
Clark and Sandra Swanson
Murder in Harlem