The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. For more information on films playing in the Cinémathèque, please call 773-281-4114. To order advance tickets online, visit the TicketWeb website by clicking here.
The 8th Annual CHICAGO AFRICAN DIASPORA FILM FESTIVAL
The African Diaspora Film Festival and The Facets Cinémathèque are presenting The 8th Annual Chicago African Diaspora Film Festival, which will be held at Facets from June 18-24. This outstanding event will feature a selection of Black Independent Films from around the world and this one-week series will exhibit 15 films, present a program of films from the US, France, Haiti, Argentina, Brazil, and South Africa -- just to name a few of the countries represented. Recognized as one of the most important film festivals depicting an eclectic mix of foreign, independent, classic and urban films representing global experience of people of color through an extraordinary range of subjects and artistic approaches from all over the world, ADFF 2010-Chicago will showcase the works of Stanley Nelson (Two Dollars and a Dream: The Story of Madame C.J. Walker; The Murder of Emmett Till) Raoul Peck (Lumumba, Sometimes in April), John Kani, Aaron Woolfolk and many others whose films come directly from FESPACO, the Toronto International Film Festival, ADFF-New York and Sundance.
The 8th Annual African Diaspora Film Festival-Chicago is made possible thanks to the support of the following institutions and individuals: Facets Cinémathèque, ArtMattan Productions; The DuSable Heritage Association (DHA) in Chicago, the Diaspora Spirit, the Center for Black Diaspora at DePaul University, The Organization International de la Francophonie, the Quebec Government Office – Chicago, the cultural services of the Consulate General of France Chicago and The Consulate of Japan-Chicago.
Facets membership privileges for free admission are not eligible for the 8th Annual Chicago African Diaspora Film Festival-Chicago.
Chicago PremiereOPENING NIGHT FILM!
NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH
Silver Stallion FESPACO
"A deeply felt portrait that delicately weaves the extraordinary and the ordinary in its characters' lives"
-New York Times
Nothing ButThe Truth is a gripping investigation into the complex dynamic between the people who remained in South Africa and risked their lives to lead the struggle against apartheid and those who returned victoriously after living in exile. 63-year-old librarian Sipho Makhaya prepares for the return of the ashes of his brother Themba, recently deceased while in exile in London after gaining a reputation as a hero of the anti-apartheid movement. Award-winning actor John Kani is the lead actor in this film version of the internationally acclaimed play Nothing But The Truth which he also authored.
Directed by John Kani, France/South Africa, 2009, 77 mins.
This Opening Night screening and preceding catered reception (6-7 pm) is sponsored by ArtMattan Productions. There is a special admission fee for the film and the reception: $12.00
Fri., June 18 at 7 pm
Thurs., June 24 at 6:30 pm
"A superb piece of filmic journalism... [Director] Nelson is masterful at conveying the activists' actual experience -- a combination of uncertainty, exhilaration and abject terror -- as well as underscoring the extreme danger in which they knowingly placed themselves" -Variety
"A gripping documentary about a pivotal episode in the civil rights saga" -Chicago Sun-Times
Despite two earlier Supreme Court decisions that mandated the desegregation of interstate travel facilities, Black Americans in 1961 continued to endure hostility, segregation and racism while traveling through the South. The newly inaugurated Kennedy administration, embroiled in the Cold War and worried about the nuclear threat, did little to address domestic Civil Rights. It was becoming obvious that in order to get the attention of the Kennedy Administration something dramatic had to be done. Freedom Riders is the powerful, harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of eight months that changed America forever. From May until December 1961, more than 400 Black and White Americans risked their lives -- many endured savage beatings and imprisonment -- for simply traveling together on buses as they journeyed through the Deep South. Deliberately violating the Jim Crow laws, the Freedoms Riders' belief in non-violent activism was sorely tested as mob violence and bitter racism greeted them along the way. Featuring testimony from a fascinating cast of central characters: the Riders themselves, state and federal government officials, and journalists who witnessed the rides firsthand.
Directed by Stanley Nelson, U.S.A, 2009, 111 mins. In English.
Black Nation is a film that takes an uncompromising look at the state of black manhood in America as seen through the prism of the streets of Detroit, past and present, and that city's controversial Church of the Black Madonna. Swedish filmmaker Mats Hjelm draws on his deep personal connection to the church and the city, to explore the racial, cultural and political ramifications of a "black male genocide" - all within the context of the decomposition of a once proud city. In a year where an African American has ascended to the most powerful office on earth, Black Nation offers the audience a penetrating look at what it really means to be a black man in urban America today. It also offers a hopeful vision of the future in the form of a church with a solution.
Directed by Mats Hjelm, 2009, Sweden/U.S.A., 60 mins. In English.
A portrait of two leaders of the Pan-African Liberation Movement: Amilcar Cabral and Frantz Fanon. Sponsored by Center for Black Diaspora at DePaul University.
Amilcar Cabral was the leader of the Liberation Movement of Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau and the founder of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGC). He was born in Guinea in 1924 and assassinated in Conakry in 1973. Regarded as a true icon of African history, this documentary provides considerable background to this revolutionary giant and reveals Cabral in several dimensions: as a man, a father, politician, humanist and poet. The documentary is skillfully produced and uses a wealth of rare archive footage, balanced inclusion of varied testimonies of important African personalities and the credible recreation of notable episodes of Cabral's life.
Directed by Ana Ramos Lisboa, Cape Verde/Portugal, 2001, 52 mins. In Portuguese with English subtitles.
FRANTZ FANON: HIS LIFE, HIS STRUGGLE, HIS WORK
(Frantz Fanon: sa vie, son combat, son travail)
"An informative profile" -Chicago Sun-Times
"Excellent" -Chicago Reader
Frantz Fanon was a psychiatrist, originally from Martinique, who had become a spokesman for the Algerian revolution against French colonialism. Embittered by his experience with racism in the French Army, he gravitated to radical politics, Sartre and existentialism and the philosophy of Black consciousness known as negritude. His 1952 book, Black Skin, White Masks, offers a penetrating analysis of racism and of the ways in which it is internalized by its victims. While secretly aiding the rebels of the Algerian anti-colonial war as a doctor in Algeria, Fanon cared for victims and perpetrators alike, producing case notes that shed invaluable light on the psychic traumas of colonial war. Expelled from Algeria in 1956, Fanon moved to Tunis, where he wrote for El Moudjahid, the rebel newspaper, founded Africa's first psychiatric clinic, and wrote several influential books on decolonization. Frantz Fanon: His Life, His Struggle, His Work traces the short and intense life of one of the great thinkers of the 20th century.
Directed by Cheikh Djemai, Martinique/France/Algeria/Tunisia, 2001, 52mins. In French with English subtitles.
The African Leaders Program will be followed by a cocktail reception to celebrate 50 years of African independence.
UP FROM THE BOTTOMS: THE SEARCH FOR THE AMERICAN DREAM
with filmmaker James Schaub
Up from the Bottoms tells the story of the massive migration of African Americans from the rural South to the prosperous North during the war years and beyond. The voice of Cicely Tyson guides us through these touching, thoughtful and often funny stories as told by fifteen residents of Muskegon, Michigan. Civil rights activist, comedian and author Dick Gregory gives a national perspective along with the renowned scholar of Black Americana studies, Dr. Ben Wilson. During the late 1930's through the 1960's factory jobs in the north were abundant while farming jobs in the southern states were disappearing. In the 1940's alone, a million and a half African Americans left the south and spread across this land. They were looking for a better life, the American dream. This documentary reveals the human side of the migration and the character of the people who chose to make this noble journey.
Directed by James Schaub & Rod Schaub, U.S.A, 2009, 58 mins. In English.
Cinechat: filmmaker Rod Schaub will be present for a Q&A after the screening. Program sponsored by Diaspora Spirit.
Between 1986 and 1991, more than twenty thousand Koreans left their country for Argentina. Many felt displaced as they attempted to learn the language and adapt to Argentine life. After a few years of isolation from their homeland and mother tongue, they no longer felt fully Korean either. Against this backdrop, Duk-kyu and Bo-rum show their interest in each other after Bo-rum's father's illegal clothing factory is raided. Their trip to La Boca, a popular tourist area, is bittersweet and although they clearly have fun on their date, it appears that they are but tourists in their adopted country. Hyoungsik and his gang of friends spend their days scrapping with the locals and harboring resentment towards the Koreans who got rich quick. Meanwhile, Tina represents the second generation, an integrated beacon of hope for the future.
Directed by Bae Youn Suk, Argentina, 2005, 102 mins. In Korean and Spanish with English subtitles.
ON THE VERGE OF A FEVER
(Le goût des jeunes filles)
with actress Mireille Métélus
"On the Verge of a Fever blends Rouchian ethnography with Godardian poetic text-play" -Village Voice
"[Director L'Ecuyer] has the great sense to let rather than force this thoughtful production seep into our consciousness" -Film Threat
Against the backdrop of poverty, fear and the brutal dictatorship of Haiti in 1971, On the Verge of a Fever is about Fanfan, a 15-year-old boy who just wants to experience life for himself with his streetwise friend Gégé. Having lived a somewhat sheltered life with his protective mother, Fanfan experiences a bizarrely terrifying incident involving a Tonton-Macoute. As a result, he decides to hide out at his beautiful neighbor's house for the weekend. There, he is trapped between his fear of being caught and the fulfilling of his deepest fantasy. Based on the Book Le Gout des Jeunes Filles by famous Haitian novelist Dany Laferriere.
Directed by John L'Ecuyer, Haiti/Quebec-Canada, 2004, 88 mins. In French with English subtitles.
Cinechat: actress Mireille Métélus will be present for a Q&A.
Sponsored by the Quebec Government Office – Chicago.
Inspired by the kingdom of 19th-century king Henri-Christophe, one of the revolutionary leaders who won for Haiti its independence from French colonial rule, but set in a modern milieu, Moloch Tropical presents a fictionalized portrait of the final days marking the collapse of a regime. The tightly coiled tension at President Jean de Dieu's palatial fortress outside Port-au-Prince mirrors the drama of his security force that tries to quell the civil unrest as international diplomats one by one turn their backs on the president's summit invitation. De Dieu erratically exerts scraps of control as his authority rapidly disintegrates into humiliation. Using symbolism and an almost Shakespearean madness that reverberates across modern governments, Haitian-born auteur Raoul Peck (Lumumba) meticulously drapes the poetic across the political in a searing critique on the universal malady of absolute power corrupting absolutely.
Directed by Raoul Peck, Haiti, 2009, 107 mins. In French with English subtitles.
Haiti Fundraiser after the screening.
Cinechat: Actress Mireille Métélus will be present for a Q&A after the screening, followed by a catered reception. Program sponsored by the OIF and the Cultural Services of the French Consulate in Chicago. Fundraiser organized by the DuSable Heritage Association (DHA).
Sun., June 20 at 2:30 pm
Mon., June 21 at 6:30 pm
THE HARIMAYA BRIDGE
"It is a unique, complex, consciousness-raising accomplishment" -Los Angeles Times
"[Contains] perfectly calibrated moments of quiet, contemplative beauty... Masao Nakaburi's photography is wonderful" -Variety
This poignant melodrama tells the story of an African American man from San Francisco, Daniel (played by Ben Guillory), who goes on a journey to Japan seeking the truth about the life and death of his estranged son Mickey who moved against his father's will to a rural Japanese town to teach and paint. Daniel's father did not survive as a Japanese POW during WWII, leaving many emotional wounds with Daniel and causing him to feel an extreme prejudice towards the Japanese. Mickey's friends in Japan welcome Daniel with great warmth and respect, but he is neither willing nor able to react positively until he discovers a life-altering secret that will force him to reassess his feelings and actions. A distinct portrayal of how people develop cultural understanding and the undeniable universal need for love and peace. Written and directed by Columbia Film School alumnus Aaron Woolfolk, who drew the story from his experiences as a JET (Japanese English Teaching program) teacher in Kochi Prefecture in Japan in the 1990s.
Directed by Aaron Woolfolk, 2009, Japan/U.S.A/Korea, 120 mins. In English and Japanese with English subtitles. Co-produced by Danny Glover.
Sun., June 20 at 6:00 pm (Presentation by the Consul General of Japan)
Wed., June 23 at 6:30 pm
WHEN THE CITY BITES
(Quand la ville mord)
Sara and her cousin arrive at Charles de Gaulle airport from Brazzaville, but are soon put to work in a prostitution ring. When Omar, the pimp, kills Sara's cousin in a brutal beating, Sara decides to take matters into her own hands. This is a role that shows the range of lead actress Aïssa Maïga (Bamako).
Directed by Dominique Cabrera, France, 2009, 60 mins. In French with English subtitles.
Sun., June 20 at 8:30 pm
THE GLOBAL WORLD SEEN FROM OVER HERE: A CONVERSATION WITH MILTON SANTOS
Milton Santos was an Afro-Brazilian of incredible intellectual proportions. Professor of geography, philosopher, thinker, writer of over 40 books and some 300 scientific articles, Milton Santos taught in Brazil, France, the USA, and Tanzania and became known and respected around the world for the sharpness of his intellectual exploration of the world around us. This film is an homage to a man who dedicated his life to humanity.
Directed by Silvio Tendler, Brazil, 2006, 89 mins. In Portuguese with English subtitles.
Adera is the heart wrenching story of an Ethiopian refugee's struggle to survive in the city of Johannesburg. Marlam struggles to provide for her two children back home and, through a series of twisted circumstances, ends up as a surrogate mother for a wealthy Ethiopian couple, Tiru and Fre. Their fate is tied to that of Biru's, the shady middle man who is only interested in the money. As this unique African story unfolds, the true cost of dreams is revealed and each life is changed forever.
Directed by Nega Tariku, Ethiopia/South Africa, 2009, 107 mins. In English and Amharic with English subtitles.
Tues., June 22 at 6:30 pm
Wed., June 23 at 9 pm
Special Jury Prize + 4 other awards NOMINATED Best Film Venice Film Fest
Best Cinematography FESPACO
"An unassumingly political work that unfolds with the simplicity of a parable and the gravity of a Bible story" -New York Times
"A simple storytelling style that grows stronger with each passing scene" -Variety
"Beautifully and simply photographed on location, Daratt is a fine follow-up to Abouna and confirms Haroun as one of Africa's leading filmmakers, a committed humanist and a sly political commentator" -TimeOut London
"Austere, hypnotic" -Village Voice
"We get a powerful glimpse...of the lives of a people wearied by 40 years of all-encompassing war, coupled with intense, emotionally resonant performances from Barkaï and Djaro. It's the on-screen electricity that crackles between these two men that makes this film so compelling" -BBC
"No less attentive to the nuances of baking bread than to the moral shadings of vengeance, director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun is an uncommonly precise filmmaker" -TimeOut NY
"Compelling" -Chicago Sun-Times
"Spare but powerful" -Chicago Reader
Following the Chadian government's announcement of an amnesty for war criminals after decades of civil war, teenage orphan Atim (Ali Bacha Barkaï) is handed a revolver a mission of vengeance by his elderly grandfather: to travel from his tiny rural village to the capital and kill the man who murdered his father many years ago. His target turns out to be not a bloodthirsty monster but a devoutly religious Muslim baker (Youssouf Djaoro) who gruffly takes the young would-be assassin under his wing as an apprentice. The elliptical story, graced with notes of humor and expressive silences, unfolds with some surprising twists before ultimately resolving into a quietly wrenching drama of personal accountability and moral choice. Beautifully and simply photographed on location, Daratt is a fine follow-up to Abouna and confirms Haroun as one of Africa's leading filmmakers, a committed humanist. He brilliantly shows how cycles of violence and patterns of war can sometimes be avoided by personal strength alone.
Directed by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, France/Belgium/Chad/Austria, 2006, 96 mins. In French and Chadian Arabic with English subtitles.
Is there comedy in the Middle East? Despite there being no easy way to describe stand-up comedy in Arabic, a group of "comedy ambassadors" travel from Dubai to Beirut, Riyadh to Cairo with a double mission: to disrupt the pervasive image of Muslims as solemn, threatening, and inhuman; and to deliver some much-needed relief and laughter to the intense reality of everyday life in the Middle East. As one of the first comedy shows in the Arab world starts rolling, backstage anxiety and nerves rumble after busting open cultural taboos in each city. The comics willfully walk the line on jokes about Islam, sexuality, and body parts -- at times even with a foul mouth -- in the hopes that, as one performer says, if we can learn to laugh at ourselves, the rest of the world will laugh with us. As edifying as it is entertaining, Egyptian-American comic and first-time director Ahmed Ahmed's film shows us the Middle East like most Americans have never seen it before.
Directed by Ahmed Ahmed, 2010, U.S.A., 72 mins.
Cinechat: Filmmaker Ahmed Ahmed will be present for a Q&A after the screening.
Facets membership privileges for free admission are not eligible for the 8th Annual Chicago African Diaspora Film Festival-Chicago.
For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or email@example.com