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Poitier's directorial debut

Buck and the Preacher

A neglected classic of Black American cinema

Sidney Poitier, 1972, USA, 102mins, 12A

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Sun 21 April // 19:30 / Cinema

Tickets: £7/5/3/0

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"lively entertainment underlined by some stinging social comment" (LA Times)

In this terrifically enjoyable Western with a twist of Black Power Sidney Poitier plays Buck, a former civil war solider, now making a living as a wagonmaster leading freed slaves to new lives as settlers in the Wild West. He's joined on the way by con-artist The Preacher - a scene stealing Belafonte -  who constantly irritates Buck and provides some gems of comic interaction. When the wagon train is threatened by a violent posse of white men, hired by plantation owners to scare the settlers back to the plantations, Buck and the Preacher join forces against the bad guys.

This film broke Hollywood tradition by casting black actors in lead roles in a Western and by portraying solidarity between former slaves and native Americans. A refreshing take on the genre.