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a black woman looking at us wearing a frilled collared shirt, behind her is smoke and a figures of a violent racist group.

Doc Stories

Stamped from the Beginning

Directed by Roger Ross Williams

USA | Documentary | 85

4 Nov
Sat, Nov 4, 2023 at 8:30 pm PT

Guests Expected

Director Roger Ross Williams is expected to attend.


Adapting Ibram X. Kendi’s National Book Award-winning history of the same name, Roger Ross Williams tackles the history of racist imagery, policies, stories, and institutions that deform American society. The film also dismantles several myths that deny Black people their own agency and legacy in artistic and political realms. From the origins of slavery to Black Lives Matter, Williams uses a comprehensive range of archival footage, animation, and reenactments alongside piercing interviews with academics, politicians, and Kendi himself to expose how racism demeans and disfigures everyone. Portraits of Harriet Jacobs, who writes the first slave narrative by a woman, and Ida B. Wells, who conducts invaluable research on lynching while it’s happening around her, are just two of the compelling stories portrayed. The film also points the way forward, proposing the active disposition required to develop an anti-racist mentality that could be key in healing our communities.

Director Roger Ross Williams

Filmmaker Roger Ross Williams was born in South Carolina, USA. His many documentaries include the Oscar-winning short Music by Prudence (2013), God Loves Uganda (Festival 2013), Life, Animated (Festival 2016), American Jail (18), The Apollo (Doc Stories Opening Night 2019), High on the Hog (21), Love to Love You, Donna Summer (23) and episodes of The 1619 Project (23). His narrative feature debut Cassandro was recently presented by SFFILM. Stamped from the Beginning is his latest work.

Film Details

Language English

Year 2023

Premiere USA

Runtime 85

Country USA

Director Roger Ross Williams

Executive Producer Geoff Martz, Mara Brock Akil, Susie Fitzgerald, Dr. Ibram X. Kend

Producer Alisa Payne, Roger Ross Williams, David Teague

Editor John Fisher, Francesca Sharper

Cinematographer Wolfgang Held

Music Nate Wonder, Roman Gianarthur

Closed Captions Closed captions are available for this screening.

Audio Description Audio descriptions are not available for this screening.

American Sign Language (ASL) Interpretation American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation is not currently scheduled for this event. For more information about ASL interpretation at our events, e-mail ADA@SFFilm.org.