Director: Bill Gunn Run Time: 165 min. Release Year: 1980
Starring: Bill Gunn, Ishmael Reed, Jim Wright, Vertamae Grosvenor, Walter Cotton
This entirely African American-conceived and produced ensemble drama is the result of a collaboration of a pair of pioneering Black artists: writer Ishmael Reed and filmmaker Bill Gunn, who wrote and directed the underground classic Ganja & Hess and wrote the screenplay for Hal Ashby’s The Landlord. Originally intended to air on public television in 1980, it went unseen for many years; the original tapes have been carefully restored by Kino Lorber and the film is now available in its full-length version for the first time in decades!
“Embodies the spirit of independent film. Bill Gunn is one of the most under-appreciated filmmakers of his time.” – Spike Lee
“Bill Gunn’s long-lost, wondrous opus Personal Problems feels it’s own organic way into the unsung lives of it’s African-American characters.” – Howard Hampton, Film Comment
“Bill Gunn inspired a legion of underground and avant-garde painters and dramatists to be as strange as they actually were. The freedom in that alone is revolutionary.” – Dennis Leroy Kangalee, Indiewire