Blu-ray Releases Details
The Learning Tree - The Criterion Collection

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This title will be released on December 14, 2021. Pre-order now.
  • Note To Viewer

    This disc has not yet been reviewed. The following information has been provided by the distributor.

Genres: Drama
Starring: Kyle Johnson
Director: Gordon Parks
Plot Synopsis:
With this tender and clear-eyed coming-of-age odyssey, the renowned photographer turned filmmaker Gordon Parks not only became the first Black American director to make a Hollywood studio film, he also served as writer, producer, and composer, resulting in a deeply personal artistic achievement. Based on Parks’s own semi-autobiographical novel, The Learning Tree follows the journey of Newt Winger (Kyle Johnson), a teenage descendant of Exodusters growing up in rural Kansas in the 1920s, as he experiences the bittersweet flowering of first love, finds his relationship with a close friend tested, and navigates the injustices embedded within a racist legal and educational system. Exquisitely capturing the bucolic splendor of its heartland setting, this landmark film tempers nostalgia with an incisive understanding of the harsh realities, hard-won lessons, and often wrenching moral choices that shape the road to self-determination of the young Black man at its center.
SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• New documentary on the making of the film, featuring artist and critic Ina Diane Archer, curator Rhea L. Combs, and filmmakers Ernest R. Dickerson and Nelson George
• New conversation, moderated by film scholar Michael B. Gillespie, between artist Hank Willis Thomas and art historian Deborah Willis about the influence of director Gordon Parks
• My Father: Gordon Parks (1969), a documentary made on the set of The Learning Tree, narrated by Gordon Parks Jr., and featuring interviews with Gordon Parks Sr. and members of the cast and crew 
• Diary of a Harlem Family and The World of Piri Thomas, two 1968 films on which Parks played creative roles, with a new introduction by Combs
• Unstoppable (2005), a documentary featuring producer Warrington Hudlin in conversation with Parks and filmmakers Ossie Davis and Melvin Van Peebles
• Trailer
• English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• PLUS: “How It Feels to Be Black,” a 1963 Life magazine photo-essay by Parks, and an excerpt from the director’s 2005 book A Hungry Heart: A Memoir
  • Release Details
    Release Date: December 14th, 2021
    Movie Release Year: 1969
    Release Country: United States
    Movie Studio: The Criterion Collection
  • Technical Specs
    Length:107 Minutes
    Specs:Blu-ray
    Video Resolution/Codec:1080p AVC/MPEG-4
    Aspect Ratio(s):2.35:1
    Audio Formats:English Mono