Amherst Cinema is an organization founded on the transformative power of storytelling. We believe film is one of the most powerful conduits for personal and social change and progress—a “machine that generates empathy,” as Roger Ebert put it. We also believe in the power of film to generate understanding, and to illuminate the horrors of racism, past and present. We stand in solidarity with those protesting during this important moment in the fight for justice and equality.

We’ve compiled a selection of films from black creators that speak to the current moment . All are streaming online. These films may provide inspiration and guidance to those who are protesting the unjust and criminal treatment of black people in America. These films may also provide some context and insight for viewers who may be looking for answers to the question, "how did we get here?”

We hope these films start conversations that resonate in action as we all work towards creating a future that uplifts and values the voices and dreams of communities that have been systematically oppressed for so long.
In solidarity,
Your friends at Amherst Cinema
We’re opening five new films today in Virtual Cinema , including the much-anticipated SHIRLEY , starring Elisabeth Moss as famous horror writer Shirley Jackson. We've also got a new Exhibition on Screen title, an inspiring environmental doc, Willem Dafoe in the newest from Abel Ferrara, and a touching drama following a decade of female friendship. Scroll down for more information on our Virtual Cinema titles.
Save the date for our first virtual Science on Screen event! PICTURE A SCIENTIST chronicles the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists. It opens in Virtual Cinema next Friday, June 12, with a live-streamed discussion on Wednesday, June 17 between film subjects and filmmakers Sharon Shattuck and Ian Cheney, both past guests of Amherst Cinema. Find out more here.
Our June Member of the Month is John McKenna. Thank you for supporting Amherst Cinema with your Membership, John! We hope you enjoy your free month of movies, redeemable when we reopen.

Our Summer Membership Drive is back! Join or renew by August 31 and receive a free film pass, valid once we reopen. As an Amherst Cinema Member, you'll enjoy free-to-Members virtual events during our temporary closure and more fantastic benefits (free, delicious popcorn! ticket discounts!) once we reopen.
Now playing via Virtual Cinema

During our temporary closure, we're excited to bring you opportunities to watch new release titles on your home screen while directly supporting Amherst Cinema. When you watch these films at home, the cost of the digital "ticket" is split between the film distributor and Amherst Cinema - just like when you buy a ticket at the box office.
New title!
Renowned horror writer Shirley Jackson (Elisabeth Moss) is on the precipice of writing her masterpiece, when the arrival of two newlyweds upends her meticulous routine and heightens tensions in her already tempestuous relationship with her philandering husband (Michael Stuhlbarg).
New title! One week only, must end 6/11
Van Gogh’s life has long captured the imagination of storytellers. Delving deep into his fascinating and sometimes deeply troubled world comes this award-winning documentary. We're thrilled to offer this program virtually, which sold out at Amherst Cinema in July 2018.
New title!
Over the course of a decade, childhood friends Mara and Jo navigate ups and downs in their personal and professional lives, never losing their powerful connection despite Jo's growing instability.
New title!
Director Damon Gameau embarks on a journey to explore what the future could look like by the year 2040 if we simply embraced the best solutions already available to us to improve our planet and shifted them rapidly into the mainstream.
New title!
Willem Dafoe delivers a career best as the title character, an older American expat living in Rome with his young wife and their daughter. Disoriented by his past misgivings and subsequent, unexpected blows to his self-esteem, Tommaso wades through this late chapter of his life with an increasingly impaired grasp on reality. A New York Times Critic's Pick!
Held over
This documentary traces the evolution and impact of New Orleans music, and its profound effect on culture and social movements in the U.S. and beyond.

Held over
Raul Ruiz’s masterful adaptation of the eponymous nineteenth-century Portuguese novel follows a multitude of characters whose fates conjoin, separate, and then rejoin again over three decades in Portugal, Spain, France, and Italy.
Held over
In the 15th century, both France and England stake a blood claim for the French throne. Believing that God had chosen her, the young Joan leads the army of the King of France. When she is captured, the Church sends her for trial on charges of heresy. A New York Times Critic's Pick!
Held over
FREE to Amherst Cinema Members! OPUNTIA is a supernatural true story based on the writings of 16th century conquistador-turned-healer Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca. Director David Fenster uses de Vaca’s story as a jumping off point for a personal and historical exploration of transformation, spirituality, and colonialism.
In recognition and solidarity with the groundswell of protests against the unjust and criminal treatment of black people in America, we've compiled a list of powerful stories from black creators that speak to this moment and the history behind it. We're spotlighting a couple below, but click through to our website for all twelve films.
dir. Damon Davis & Sabaah Folayan, 2017
Told by the activists and leaders who live and breathe this movement for justice, WHOSE STREETS? is an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising. When unarmed teenager Michael Brown is killed by police and left lying in the street for hours, it marks a breaking point for the residents of St. Louis, Missouri. Grief, long-standing racial tensions, and renewed anger bring residents together to hold vigil and protest this latest tragedy. WHOSE STREETS? is a powerful battle cry from a generation fighting, not for their civil rights, but for the right to live.

In October 2017, co-director Damon Davis joined us for a screening of WHOSE STREETS? as part of our Bellwether Film Series. Click here to watch a video of the post-screening conversation , or click here to read a transcript of that conversation.

dir. Ava DuVernay , 2016
The title of Ava DuVernay's extraordinary and galvanizing documentary refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” The progression from that second qualifying clause to the horrors of mass criminalization and the sprawling American prison industry is laid out by DuVernay with bracing lucidity. With a potent mixture of archival footage and testimony from a dazzling array of activists, politicians, historians, and formerly incarcerated women and men, DuVernay creates a work of grand historical synthesis.

Looking for streaming selections from our staff, board, and volunteers? Check out our archive of At-Home Cinema Selections and look for more in upcoming e-newsletters throughout our temporary closure.
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