Forthright and plucky Pica Sullivan (Toby Smith) is an art school student growing up in Oakland, CA, who is determined to document "America's most endangered species": the African-American male. While photographing men in the neighborhood out of fear they will soon be extinct, Pica meets Tobi (April Barnett), a woman disguised as a man to avoid her abusive boyfriend. As Pica grapples with her turbulent home life and navigates a budding romance with local street vendor Malik (Will Power), a serial killer starts picking off many of those who appear smiling in Pica’s Polaroids. Confronting urgent and prevalent issues of race and gender, Cauleen Smith’s vibrant and rarely-seen coming-of-age drama is as vital and sobering today as it was twenty years ago. A new 16mm print screens courtesy of the Academy Film Archive. – Jesse Knight
Cauleen Smith is an award-winning interdisciplinary artist whose work reflects upon the everyday possibilities of the imagination. Drawing from structuralism, third world cinema and science fiction, she deploys tactics of activism in service of ecstatic social space and contemplation. She lives in Los Angeles and is on the faculty at California Institute of the Arts.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences