Opening Night Film!
"An edgier examination of worlds colliding"
Jarreth Merz, a Swiss-Nigerian actor living in Los Angeles is summoned to Nigeria to bury his father. According to Nigerian tradition, the first-born is in charge of a fatherís burial. But who is this father? Although Jarreth accepts the responsibility, he struggles with why he feels morally bound towards a family whom he hardly knows and who has never been particularly interested in him? Thus starts a journey of self-discovery. Directed by Kevin Merz, Nigeria/US/Switzerland, 2008, BetaSP 75mins, documentary in English and German with English subtitles.
Winner "Festival Real Life" Accra 2008.
This Opening Night screening and preceding catered reception sponsored by the Center for Black Diaspora DePaul University and the Consulate General of Switzerland in Chicago.
Fri., June 19 at 7 pm
Wed., June 24 at 9 pm
A young aspiring actress whose mother was a Blaxploitation star loses 57 pounds and lands her first role in a movie. Her part demands a nude scene. Her dilemma is then to keep her clothes on and keep the part as well. Through this struggle, Cicely embarks on a journey that is revealing of secrets she once hid beneath her excessive weight. Directed by Bridgett Davis, USA, 1998, BetaSP. 90 mins. In English.
Fri., June 19 at 9:30 pm
Mon., June 22 at 8:30 pm
She's got a lousy service job, a husband stranded in Somalia and a teenage daughter with an attitude. Then, just when she thinks it can't get worse, Ayan and her kids are slapped with an eviction order. That's when they check into a seedy family motel. Shot in Vancouver with a nonprofessional cast and developed in collaboration with the lead character, Family Motel
is a realistic and moving portrait of a strong woman facing life's many challenges with courage, determination and a beautiful spirit. Directed by Helene Klodawsky, Canada, 2007, BetaSP, 88mins. In English.
Sat., June 20 at 2 pm
Sun., June 21 at 9 pm
Greed and idealism collide in this powerful narrative set in the small southern town of Julia as preparations are made to memorialize the fortieth anniversary of the assassination of civil rights activist Paul Malcolm. Paul's brother John, played with quiet intelligence by Danny Glover, is urged on by his wife Sarah, the remarkable Angela Bassett, to continue the mission to save the neighborhood of Gospel Hill from developers intent on buying up black owned homes in order to create a golf course for the rich. Actor-director Giancarlo Esposito adds nuance as the ambitious Dr. Ron Palmer, a man willing to seize opportunity at the expense of his community. Tensions of the past resurface, as a town and its people struggle with age-old issues of the politics of prejudice. Images of past and present blend seamlessly as reminders of lessons yet to be learned. With Angela Bassett, Danny Glover, Samuel Jackson, Nia Long and Julia Styles. Directed by Giancarlo Esposito, USA, 2007, BetaSP, 98 mins. In English.
Sat., June 20 at 4:30 pm
Sun., June 21 at 6:30 pm
Back by Popular Demand!
YOUSSOU N'DOUR: RETURN TO GORÉE
"Absorbing... hearing N'Dourís soaring voice transmit his songs through the unfamiliar but effective surroundings of a jazz combo proves a transcendent experience"
After its theatrical release in various cities in the US and Canada, Youssou N'Dour: Return to Gorée
is back by popular demand. This remarkable film traces is the journey of the famous Senegalese singer in his quest to humanize through music the story of those who started their journey as slaves. An homage to jazz, and the courage and creativity of those who created this powerful music. Directed by Pierre-Yves Borgeaud, Senegal/USA/ Luxembourg/Switzerland, 2006, 35mm, 108mins, doc. in English, French, Wolof with English subtitles.
This screening will be preceded by a cocktail party at 6:30 pm.
Sat., June 20 at 7 pm
CAPE VERDE, MY LOVE
(Cabo Verde nha cretcheu)
Praïa, Cape verde. Laura, Flavia and Bela are childhood friends. Each leads her own life and they sometimes meet to dance, dine and have fun. But one day the calm rivers of their lives break their banks and become wild torrents: Ricardo, Flavia's husband, rapes his pupil Indira, Laura's 13-year old eldest daughter. A film that takes a critical look at the lives of women in Cape Verde and their abusive men. Directed by Ana Lucia Ramos Lisboa, Cape Verde, 2007, BetaSP, 77min. In Portuguese Creole with English subtitles.
Sat., June 20 at 9:30 pm
Thurs., June 25 at 6:30 pm
BLACK AND WHITE IN EXILE
This fascinating documentary chronicles the experiences of Cuban and Haitian exiles in the United States since the 1960s. Using photojournalistic images, Black and White in Exile deals with the complex themes of assimilation and the often divisive issues of immigration, especially when race and politics collide. Directed by Ray Blanco, USA, 1997, BetaSP, 120 mins. In English, Creole and Spanish with English subtitles.
Sun., June 21 at 1:30 pm
PASSION FOR A COUNTRY
(LA PASSION D'UN PAYS)
Paul Robeson Award
This very informative and revealing documentary explores the Haitian society of the late 19th century and early 20th by focusing on the tormented life of one of Haiti's most important authors, Jacques Roumain, who was also a prominent political figure. In his writings, Roumain raised vivid questions that were and still are very much relevant in regard to some of the issues the country faces to this day. Directed by Arnold Antonin, Haiti, 2008, BetaSp, 111 mins. In Creole and French with subtitles.
Sun., June 21 at 4 pm
Tues., June 23 at 6:30 pm
is a documentary that shows how vibrant Afro-Brazilian Performing Arts are used to fight racism, social exclusion, and poverty in Bahia, Brazil. The film outlines the transformative powers of a large movement of community cultural projects that make up the latest chapter in a creative struggle for racial equality that began four centuries ago. Directed by Benjamin Watkins, Brazil/USA, 2008, BetaSP, 66 mins. In Portuguese with English subtitles.
Mon., June 22 at 6:30 pm
PATTERNS OF PASSION
This is the story of a young woman trying to come to grips with her past in order to move forward with her life. Passion is a working single mother struggling to control her volatile temperament. Her boss, as a disciplinary action, forces her into therapy. During her therapy session, she explores the decisions she made and the patterns of dysfunction that have plagued her throughout her life. Directed by Patrick Coleman, USA, 2008, BetaSP, 84 mins. In English.
Tues. June 23 at 9 pm
"Biyouna, a charismatic powerhouse much beloved in Algeria, leaps off the screen"
In Algiers, Zineb is an institution. Under the name of Madame Aldjeria, she dishes favors of any kind: from securing building permits to finding female companionship for lonely men. However, when she sets her sights on a high-class score that will help leave her blemished past behind, she learns that ambition leads to a permanent chain of compromises. Directed by Nadir Mokneche, Algeria/France, 2006, 35mm, 134 mins. In Arabic and French with English subtitles.
Wed., June 24 at 6:30 pm
Thurs., June 25 at 9 pm