Possum Trot Entire Folkstreams

Making The Film

Possum Trot: The Life and Work of Calvin Black, 1903-1972

Film by Allie Light, Irving Saraf
Produced by Patricia Ferrero, Allie Light, Irving Saraf
Cinematographer: Irving Saraf
Sound: Kirk Schuler
Editing: Irving Saraf
Copyright: Copyright 1977, Possum Trot Productions
28 minutes, Color
Original format: Film: 16mm, 1977
Distributor: Light-Saraf Films
More Film Facts
Home streaming only. For other permissions apply to Allie Light, Irving Saraf or to the distributor, Light-Saraf Films.

Preview one minute trailer - Comment on film

Calvin Black was a folk artist who lived in California's Mojave Desert and created more than 80 life-size female dolls, each with its own personality, function, and costume. He also built the "Bird Cage Theater," where the dolls perform and sing in voices recorded by the artist. The film works on two levels. One is the documentation of the artist's legacy and commentary on women: grotesque female figures moving in the desert wind and the theater with its frozen "actresses," protected by his widow from a world she views as hostile. The other is the re-creation of the artist's vision through the magic of film, as the camera enables the dolls to move and sing and brings theater to life as the artist imagined it.

Possum Trot is part of the "Visions of Paradise" series on contemporary folk artists directed and produced by Irving Saraf and Allie Light. The other four films in the series are: Angel That Stands By Me: the Paintings of Minnie Evans, Hundred and Two Mature: The Art of Harry Lieberman, Grandma's Bottle Village: The Art of Tressa Prisbrey, and The Monument of Chief Rolling Mountain Thunder. You can find information about them at They are video streaming on