ONE BAD CAT Reverend Albert Wagner

ONE BAD CAT is about the transformative role art plays in the tumultuous life of Reverend Wagner who has been a lightening rod for controversy his entire life. Racism, ego and lust led him to the brink of ruin. Miraculously, he was inspired by God to paint, “God and art saved the Reverend Albert.”

Influenced by his racist Southern upbringing and now living in an impoverished neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio, his controversial artwork sometimes rails against the lifestyles of African-Americans. While encouraging them to strengthen their spirituality and live up to their potential, he simultaneously accuses the community of self oppression, a disregard for familial responsibility, and a weakness for sexual gratification.

Are the subjects portrayed in Albert’s paintings and sculptures a consequence of internalized racism? Might his choices be influenced by a need to please his mostly White patrons who Albert believes must validate his work in order to attract Black buyers?

ONE BAD CAT explores why, during Albert’s pursuit of salvation, he creates as many detractors as champions and how an ailing Albert comes to terms with his checkered past.


The Black Association of Documentary Filmmakers West is a project of Fulcrum Arts' Emerge fiscal sponsorship program.



This activity is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency.