When we began researching SCREENING RACE IN AMERICAN NONTHEATRICAL FILM, we put out a call to archivists for suggestions of lost, hidden or neglected films that deserved scholarly attention.
Stephen Parr of Oddball Films, who passed away in 2017, enthusiastically recommended Nikolai Ursin’s BEHIND EVERY GOOD MAN (circa 1967), a short 16mm portrait of a transgender African American person. Mark Quigley at UCLA made it possible for us to view the film, which had been recently restored. We were moved by its sophisticated engagement with questions of gender, sexuality and race. Noah Tsika of Queens College wrote a thoughtful and deeply informed essay on the film’s representational politics as well as its subject’s self-presentation.
Rediscovering an important film in the archives like BEHIND EVERY GOOD MAN and helping bring more attention to it energized us—it’s one of the reasons we do what we do. — Allyson Nadia Field and Marsha Gordon, editors of Screening Race
Top and below: Nikolai Ursin, Behind Every Good Man (circa 1967) (2), courtesy and © the filmmaker. Above: Screening Race in American Nontheatrical Film (2019), edited by Allyson Nadia Field and Marsha Gordon, courtesy and © Duke University Press.