Personal Problems (1980)

Dec 14, 1980 | Drama, General Film

Director: Bill Gunn

Writer(s): Ishmael Reed

Starring: Vertamae Grosvenor, Carey Barnes, Alan Beckles, Thommie Blackwell, Walter Cotton, Kenny De Louche, William Grant, Vincent Hall, Kip Hanrahan, Andrea W. Hunt, Marshall M. Johnson Iii, Mizan Kirby, Niamani Mutima, Ishmael Reed, Michele Wallace, Michael Watts, Sam L. Waymon, John H. Wells, Lester Williams, Margo Williams, Jim Wright

Synopsis: Johnnie Mae Brown and Charles Brown are a working-class African American couple in New York at the beginning of the 1980s. While reliant upon one another, the husband and wife have grown emotionally estranged and are each having relationships outside the marriage. Charles’s father, Father Brown (Jim Wright) lives with the couple, and their lives are further complicated when Johnnie May’s brother Bubba (Thommie Blackwell) and his wife Mary Alice (Andrew W. Hunt) come to live with them. After the sudden death of Father Brown, a funeral wake allows simmering family tensions to rise to the surface. Charles spends an introspective day reminiscing with Father Brown’s friends. As a result of these events, Johnnie Mae and Charles rediscover their love for one another and make a conscious effort to strengthen their relationship.

Release Date: December 14, 1980 (USA) | Length: 165 min | Genre: Drama | MPAA Rating: NR

Note:I will need to see the film to better identify people. Premiered in France November 1980. I am trying to find out if it was at the Cannes Film Festival. The above date is when it showed at BAMPFA (Berkely Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive at UC Berkley).