Films, TV, and Music

Feature Films

Featured Highlights >> Films, TV, and Music >> Feature Films
Search Tips

Source: Ashes and Embers (1982) Directed by Haile Gerima. Washington, D.C.: Mypheduh Films. 120 min. Ashes and Embers

(1982) Directed by Haile Gerima. Washington, D.C.: Mypheduh Films. 120 min.

An excursion into the pained psyche of a black Vietnam veteran, brought to life by Ethiopian-born writer-director Haile Gerima. Ned Charles is alienated from society as a whole and especially from other blacks, as seen in his troubled relations with his grandmother and also with his activist girlfriend and her friends.

Ashes and Embers is an original screenplay by Haile Gerima, about a Vietnam veteran, who, several years after the war, is struggling to come to terms with his role in the war, and his role as a Black person in America. He survives by working odd jobs in Washington, D.C. and living with his girlfriend and her son. When criticism of his alienated behavior come from her and a father figure too often, he runs to the streets or to his grandmother's rural house in Virginia. Her criticism and his memories of the past both send him fleeing again to Los Angeles, where he is surrounded by superficial people who have forgotten how to be compassionate human beings. It is here that the advice of his friends and grandmother combine to transform him from an embittered ex-soldier to a strong and confident man.

Return to list


Geslewitz, Gina. "Black Film Festival Begins Wednesday." New York Times, June 20, 1982, p. NJ2.

Maslin, Janet. "Screen: 'Ashes and Embers'." New York Times, November 17, 1982, p. C30.

Shepard, Richard F. "TV: PBS's 'Ashes,' About a Black Veteran." New York Times, May 26, 1985, p. 52.

Send feedback or questions to
Kief Schladweiler
Librarian, NYC

Free Speech Online Blue Ribbon Campaign