Lorraine Hansberry’s immortal A Raisin in the Sun was the first play by a black woman to be performed on Broadway. Two years later, the production came to the screen, directed by Daniel Petrie. The original stars—including Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee—reprise their roles as members of an African American family living in a cramped Chicago apartment, in this deeply resonant tale of dreams deferred. The Youngers await a life-insurance check they hope will change their circumstances, but tensions arise over how to use the money. Vividly rendering Hansberry’s sharp observations on generational conflict and housing discrimination, Petrie’s film captures the high stakes, shifting currents, and varieties of experience within black life in midcentury America.
New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
Interview from 1961 with playwright/screenwriter Lorraine Hansberry
New interview with Imani Perry, author of Looking for Lorraine
Episode of Theater Talk from 2002 featuring producer Philip Rose and actors Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis
Excerpt from Black Theatre: The Making of a Movement (1978), with a new introduction by director Woodie King Jr.
New interview with film scholar Mia Mask, coeditor of Poitier Revisited
Interview from 2002 with director Daniel Petrie
PLUS: An essay by scholar Sarita Cannon and author James Baldwin’s 1969 tribute to Hansberry, “Sweet Lorraine”
RUN TIME: 128 minutes
ASPECT RATIO: 1.85:1