One of the very first fictional features by an African-American woman, Losing Ground remains a stunning and powerful work of art. At the time of her death from cancer in 1988, Kathleen Collins was just 46 years old, but she was already an internationally renowned playwright, a popular professor (at New York’s City College) and a successful independent filmmaker. Her second film, Losing Ground tells the story of a marriage of two remarkable people, both at a crossroads in their lives. Sara Rogers, a black professor of philosophy, is embarking on an intellectual quest to understand “ecstasy” just as her painter husband Victor sets off on a more earthy exploration of joy. Celebrating a recent museum sale, Victor decides to rent a country house where he can return to more realism after years working as an abstract expressionist. Away from the city, the couple’s summer idyll becomes complicated by Sara’s research and by Victor’s involvement with a young model. When one of her students casts Sara as the woman scorned in a film version of the song “Frankie and Johnny,” she experiences a painful emotional awakening. While dealing with strong individuals and feelings, the film is also charming--Collins described it as a comedy about a young woman who takes herself too seriously. Accomplished actors Seret Scott (For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide when the Rainbow is Enuf ), Bill Gunn (Ganja and Hess) and Duane Jones (Night of the Living Dead) star.