Book Tickets

Losing Ground 18

Part of Trailblazers: Women in New Hollywood
Kathleen Collins, USA, 1982, 86m.

All screenings of Losing Ground will be shown with English subtitles (not HoH).

The screening on the 28th of April will be introduced by Dr Lucy Bolton (QMUL).

The final film in our Trailblazers: Women in New Hollywood season, a series of films highlighting the visionary filmmaking and lasting legacies of women directors in the New Hollywood era, is Losing Ground, Kathleen Collins’ prescient depiction of a Black female philosophy professor’s question for intellectual and erotic ecstasy.


Kathleen Collins’s Losing Ground tells the story of a marriage between two remarkable people, both at a crossroads in their lives. Sara Rogers (Seret Scott), a Black professor of philosophy, is embarking on an intellectual quest to understand 'ecstasy' just as her painter husband, Victor (Bill Gunn), sets off on a more earthy exploration of joy. Over the course of a summer idyll in upstate New York, the two each experience profound emotional and romantic awakenings. A deeply personal exploration of love, race, and gender, Collins crafts a complex tale of personal discovery that, after decades of neglect, has re-emerged as a still-fresh landmark of independent cinema.

The Garden Cinema view:

One of the first narrative feature films made by a Black American woman, we are delighted to present this digital remaster of Kathleeen Collins’ Losing Ground, a still all-too-rare depiction of an African American middle-class milieu. Remarkable in the attention afforded to the philosophical and erotic experience of a Black woman, Losing Ground provides an incredibly prescient response to current debates about the limits of Black representation (recently brought to the fore by the release of American Fiction).  

Lucy Bolton is Professor of film philosophy at Queen Mary University of London, where she teaches and researches women’s cinemas and feminist film philosophy. She co-edits Visionaries, a book series about women filmmakers, which features a volume on Kathleen Collins.

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