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Cult Vault #22: Michael Roemer on Nothing But a Man

Nan Goldin celebrates a Michael Roemer's 1964 civil-rights-era classic 

set in Alabama

Taken from the February 2012 issue of Dazed & Confused:

Nan Goldin’s choice for Cult Vault is also said to be Malcolm X’s favourite film. Nothing But a Man is a relationship drama made in 1964 by writer and filmmaker Michael Roemer. Set in Birmingham, Alabama, it tackles black life in the racially segregated 60s American South, with a groundbreaking Motown soundtrack. 

“I know a lot of films that other people don’t know. Like Vivienne Dick’s films She Had Her Gun All ReadyBeauty Becomes the Beast and Liberty’s Booty. She was like the big queen of Super 8 in the late 70s and early 80s New York. I like films when they’re by friends and I have a direct relationship to them at the time. My favourite movie is probably Nothing But a Man. You have to see it! It’s so honest, and so beautifully shot and amazingly acted that you have no idea if it’s documentary or fiction. It’s about a black man in the South and was made by a Jewish white man who made another film called The Plot Against Harry, about old Jewish mobsters. I once did a telephone hook-up interview with him in front of a crowd in Brooklyn, and he’s a really funny old man. He teaches, but there’s nothing theoretical about this film. The relationships in it are incredible.”