Upcoming Events#BlackPanthersMatter: The Black Panther Party at 50
Julie Dash: Daughters of the Dust 25th Anniversary
Founded 50 years ago on October 15, 1966, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense created the foundational iconography of Black radicalism in the United States. Their revolutionary aesthetics and self-controlled image established them in the nation’s eye: Black berets, Afros, leather jackets, and militarized organization. #BlackPanthersMatter brings together four films that highlight the depth behind the visuals, both by relating the Black Panthers outward to contemporary Black lives and by pointing the camera inwards at the emotional experiences of the movement’s founders. This series is sponsored by the Black Film Center/Archive, The Media School’s cinema and media arts program, the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies, the Center for Documentary Research and Practice, and IU Cinema. Special thanks to Dorothy Berry and Brittany Friesner.
Panther (1995, dir. Mario Van Peebles)
with Off the Pig (1968, Newsreel Films)
Monday, October 17, 2016 | 7:00 p.m. | IU Cinema
Panther is an epic political film set against the explosive civil rights movement in Oakland, California, in 1968. Working from a script written by his father, Melvin Van Peebles, the director Mario Van Peebles said in 1995 that "one of the reasons I made the movie was to show kids today that social change could be made by young people...Huey was twenty-one when he started the Panthers. This was a time when youth were politically active." Preceding Panther (124 min.) will be a short film produced by Newsreel Films, Off the Pig (1968), which provides documentary footage of the movement’s organizers at the height of their controversy and notoriety. This rarely seen footage opens the door to the urgency of the Black Panthers’ “any means necessary” attitude.
The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (2011, dir. Göran Olsson)
with May Day (1969, Newsreel Films)
Saturday, October 22, 2016 | 7:00 p.m. | IU Cinema
In The Black Power Mixtape 1967– 1975, director Göran Olsson collages historical footage and contemporary interviews. Olsson overlays film shot by Swedish journalists in the 1960s and ’70s—of revolutionaries like Angela Davis, Stokely Carmichael, and Bobby Seale—with commentaries from current artists and activists. The short film May Day (1969), produced by Newsreel Films, will precede the feature film. May Day documents a May 1, 1969, Black Panther rally with speeches from Kathleen Cleaver, Bobby Seale, and others, along with footage of both the police raid on Panther headquarters and the Panther’s Breakfast for the Children program.
Julie Dash’s rich filmography explores the spectrum of Black women’s experience across wide swaths of geography and time. The year 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of her groundbreaking film Daughters of the Dust, and the Black Film Center/Archive is excited to sponsor a screening of the newly released digital restoration, along with a selection of early short films from her time as part of the UCLA-based Black cinema revolution known today as the L.A. Rebellion. This series is sponsored by the Black Film Center/Archive, the The Media School’s cinema and media arts program, the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies, and IU Cinema.
Four Women (1975, dir. Julie Dash)
The Diary of an African Nun (1977, dir. Julie Dash)
Illusions (1982, dir. Julie Dash)
Thursday, December 8, 2016 | 7:00 p.m. | IU Cinema
In the late 1960s, Black students at the UCLA film school began to explore themes beyond the canon. Dash created her earliest short films then, each of which explores different but intersecting aspects of Black womanhood. Four Women (1975) experiments with music, dance and identity; The Diary of an African Nun (1977) contemplates complexities within spiritual relationships; and Illusions (1982) tells the story of a Black woman who passes for white to pursue a career in 1940s Hollywood. 35mm print of The Diary of an African Nun is provided courtesy of UCLA Film and Television Archive. Preservation funded in part with a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation. Director Julie Dash is scheduled to be present. (16mm/35mm Presentation)
Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture: Julie Dash
Friday, December 9, 2016 | 3:00 p.m. | IU Cinema
Daughters of the Dust (1991, dir. Julie Dash)
Friday, December 9, 2016 | 6:30 p.m. | IU Cinema
Daughters of the Dust, the first feature film directed by an African American woman to receive theatrical distribution in the U.S., engrosses the viewer in early 20th-century Gullah life. The film follows three generations of Peazant Family women as they prepare to leave the island their ancestors were brought to as slaves over a century earlier for opportunities up north. The lyrical magic-realist qualities of the film meld with historic truths to create a sense of uncommon understanding. Director Julie Dash is scheduled to be present.(2K DCP Presentation)
Named by Variety as one of “10 Documakers to Watch” in 2016, the veteran advertising executive Deborah Riley Draper has launched her career as a documentary filmmaker with two features which present the perspectives of Black American cultural icons that have contributed to shaping American history, often in ways not yet recognized, from the impact of the first Black models in the world of high fashion to the early African American Olympians who inspired on the field and beyond. This series is sponsored by the Black Film Center/Archive, Themester at the College of Arts and Sciences, Elizabeth Sage Historic Costume Collection, Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions, National Sports Journalism Center, Center for Documentary Research and Practice, The Media School’s cinema and media arts program, the Department of History, and IU Cinema. Special thanks to Emma Young.
Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture: Deborah Riley Draper
Monday, October 10, 2016 | 3:00 p.m. | IU Cinema
Versailles '73: American Runway Revolution (2012, dir. Deborah Riley Draper)
Monday, October 10 | 7:00 p.m. | IU Cinema
Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution recounts November 28, 1973, commemorated as one of the most explosive nights in contemporary fashion history. Deborah Riley Draper’s high-energy documentary highlights America’s and France’s longstanding battle for fashion world dominance, and how an ensemble of powerhouse Black models played a major role in ultimately amplifying America’s voice in the international fashion scene. Among its many honors, this film received the Best Documentary award in 2013 from the AfricanAmerican Film Critics Association. Director Deborah Riley Draper is scheduled to be present. (HD Presentation)
Olympic Pride, American Prejudice (2016, dir. Deborah Riley Draper)
Tuesday, October 11, 2016 | 7:00 p.m. | IU Cinema
Narrated by Blair Underwood, Olympic Pride, American Prejudice shares the stories of the 18 African American athletes on the U.S. team in the 1936 Summer Olympic Games in Berlin. This complicated narrative reckons with their burden of representing a Jim Crow America, as guests in Germany under Nazi rule, yet welcomed and celebrated by an international community of Olympic peers. Draper’s documentary chronicles these mostly unheralded heroes from the games to their return to America as influential figures fighting against unrelenting obstacles. Director Deborah Riley Draper is scheduled to be present.
SHAFT is at the Roosevelt!: Race and Cultural Geography in Chicago's Loop, 1970-1975
Monday, October 3, 2016 | 5:45 p.m. | BFC/A's Phyllis Klotman Room (Wells 044B)
In the city of Chicago, the Loop has traditionally been the epicenter of the city. During the early 1970’s the major, first-run motion picture theaters were still located there. But during that time both the Loop and these theaters experienced hard times. The Loop faced many of the problems that decaying downtown regions experienced across the country in the mid-twentieth century. Downtown businesses became more dependent upon black clientele as timid white suburbanites ventured to the inner city only to go to work or for special occasions. I argue that motion picture theaters in Chicago’s Loop played a pivotal role in the later stages of the civil rights movement. As African Americans began to claim legal victories in the courts and through Congress, they began to contest other barriers. Motion pictures theaters were one of the primary sites of entertainment in Chicago’s Loop. Increasingly, African American audiences began to attend theaters there and claimed certain venues as black spaces. Managers and programmers noticed the expansion of black audiences. Black-themed and black-cast films began breaking box-office records in theaters that catered to African American audiences, foreverchanging Loop theaters.
Gerald Butters, Ph.D., is a professor of history at Aurora University. His areas of specialization are film history, U.S. social and cultural history, and gender and race studies. Dr. Butters is the author of From SWEETBACK to SUPER FLY: Race and Film Audiences in Chicago's Loop (2015) and a co-editor of the forthcoming Beyond Blaxploitation (2016), which is the first book-length anthology of scholarly work on Blaxploitation film, which “sustains the momentum that Blaxploitation scholarship has recently gained, giving the films an even more prominent place in cinema history.”
The Pruitt-Igoe Myth (2011, dir. Chad Freidrichs)
Sunday, September 11, 2016 | 3:00 p.m. | IU Cinema
Featuring personal testimonies from former residents and archival footage of St Louis’ iconic public-housing project, The Pruitt-Igoe Myth provides fresh insight into the mistakes and injustices surrounding urban housing in America. The narrative shifts attention beyond a modern architectural “mythos” to the complex social realities of everyday life in Pruitt, the public protests during its lifespan, and the aftermath of its demise. IU Alumnus and Professor of Urban History at The New School Joseph Heathcott, who appears in the film, is scheduled to be present.
Presented in conjunction with MSCH-V 334: Ethics in Ruins: Images and Aftermaths in the American Mediascape, Saul Kutnicki's Fall 2016 course focusing on the social presence and visual persistence of “ruins.” Sponsored by Eric Sandweiss and the Department of History, Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions, the Center for Documentary Research and Practice, the Black Film Center/Archive, Justin Hodgson, and IU Cinema.
20th African Film Festival Traveling Series
The 20th African Film Festival Traveling Series is sponsored by IU Libraries Media Services, Black Film Center/Archive, the African Studies program, The Media School’s cinema and media arts program, the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies, the Department of History, the Department of Comparative Literature, and the IU Cinema. Special thanks are due to Monique Threatt of the IUB Libraries Media Services and Alimah Boyd of the African Film Festival, Inc.
September 12-15, 2016
Head Gone (2014, Dir. Dare Fasasi)
Monday, September 12, 2016 | 7:00 p.m. | IU Cinema
Nigeria/Sweden, 111 min. In English & Pidgin with English subtitles.
Due to a road mishap, a bus driver loses a group of psychiatric patients on the way to a federal hospital. To cover up the mistake, he and a nurse pick up unsuspecting commuters to substitute the patients and the plot thickens as the new passengers must try to prove their sanity in a psychiatric institution, while the escapees try to adjust to a new environment. This allegorical comedy of errors features some of Nigeria’s biggest names.
Red Leaves (2014, Dir. Bazi Gete)
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 | 6:00 p.m. | BFC/A’s Phyllis Klotman Room (Wells 044B)
Israel, 80 min. In Hebrew and Amharic with English subtitles.
Meseganio Tadela, 74, immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia 28 years ago with his family. He has chosen to zealously retain his culture, talks very little, and hardly speaks Hebrew. After losing his wife, Meseganio sets out on a journey that leads him through his children’s homes. He comes to realize that he belongs to a rapidly disappearing class that believes in retaining Ethiopian culture. As this harsh reality begins to hit him, he struggles to survive according to his own rules.
Afripedia: Ghana (2014, Dir. by Teddy Goitom, Benjamin Taft and Senay Berhe)
Wednesday, September 14, 2016 | 6:00 p.m. | BFC/A’s Phyllis Klotman Room (Wells 044B)
Ghana/Kenya/Sweden, 28 min. In English.
The whispers among connoisseurs talk about Accra as the next big hotspot for African cultural production, and Afripedia: Ghana suggests they’re not wrong. Meet outspoken and androgynous music star Wiyaala, exciting trick-bikers whose BMX skills and flamboyant style have taken neighborhoods by storm. Visual artist Afrogallonism puts on extraordinary outdoor performances to highlight environmental issues.
Afripedia: Kenya (2014, Dir. by Teddy Goitom, Benjamin Taft and Senay Berhe)
Wednesday, September 14, 2016 | 6:30 p.m. | BFC/A’s Phyllis Klotman Room (Wells 044B)
Ghana/Kenya/Sweden, 28 min. In English.
Take an intimate look at Nairobi’s urban culture scene and its leading personalities and stars. Meet 3D-artist Andrew Kaggia, creator of a 3D-animated political short film, taking you to his futuristic vision of Nairobi and proving that disability is never inability. Afro-futuristic pop band and DIY-enthusiasts Just a Band redefine music videos, and visual artist Cyrus introduces us to his remarkable collection created solely with found materials.
The Longest Kiss /A jamais, pour toujours (2013, Dir. by Alexandra Sicotte-Lévesque)
Wednesday, September 14, 2016 | 7:00 p.m. | BFC/A’s Phyllis Klotman Room (Wells 044B)
Sudan, 72 min. In English and Arabic with English subtitles.
The meeting of the Blue and White Nile in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, is referred to as 'the longest kiss in history.' As the Arab Spring was in full bloom, Sudan, straddling between the Middle East and Africa, was about to split in two. The film follows six young Sudanese searching for a place to call 'home' as their journeys take us up and down the Nile, between north and south Sudan, ahead of the south's secession. Facing conflicting identities, youth in north Sudan grapple with a stale dictatorship while others in south Sudan hope to start over—but at what costs? For the first time a film gives a voice to Sudanese youth from different origins, Muslims and Christians. It is an intimate portrait of a complex society that bears witness to its inevitable fragmentation.
Cholo (2014, Dir. Muzna Almusafer)
Thursday, September 15, 2016 | 4:00 p.m. | BFC/A’s Phyllis Klotman Room (Wells 044B)
Oman, 21 min. In Swahili with English subtitles.
The dark-skinned, 11-year-old Cholo meets his fair-skinned younger stepbrother Abdullah for the first time when their father Said arrives in Muscat. Although strikingly different, the boys have great chemistry. Cholo is a young boy full of imagination and a great love for nature and life. However, jealousy, competitiveness, and curiosity arise between the two, as they go through a journey of self-discovery.
Panic Button (2014, Dir. Libby Dougherty)
Thursday, September 15, 2016 | 4:30 p.m. | BFC/A’s Phyllis Klotman Room (Wells 044B)
South Africa, 25 min. In English.
From the moment that Tshepo, a security guard, breaks through Jenny’s multi-locked door to save her, she feels as if she’s been swept off her feet. But as Jenny imagines herself falling in love with him, an unhealthy, delusional obsession begins to take shape.
The Prophecy (2015, Dir. by Marcia Juzga)
Thursday, September 15, 2016 | 5:00 p.m. | BFC/A’s Phyllis Klotman Room (Wells 044B)
Senegal, 20 min. In French & Wolof with English subtitles.
Concerned about the environmental issues that Senegal is facing, photographer Fabrice Monteiro, in collaboration with the designer “Jah Gal,” created The Prophecy. The objective of this photographic project is to raise global awareness of the environment by combining art, culture, fashion, and tradition. The essence of each site photographed is characterized by a Jinn — supernatural genies omnipresent in African cultures — merging with its environment. Marcia Juzga’s film is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Monteiro’s project.
The African Film Festival National Traveling Series has been organized by the African Film Festival, Inc. This series has been made possible by the generous support of The Bradley Foundation, Domenico Paulon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Ashes and Embers (1982, Dir. Haile Gerima)
Thursday, April 28, 2016 | 7:00 p.m. | IU Cinema
Winner of the FIPRESCI Prize at the 1983 Berlin International Film Festival, Haile Gerima's ASHES AND EMBERS presents the story of Vietnam veteran Nay Charles, struggling years after the war to find strength and confidence as he comes to terms with his military past and his place as a Black man in contemporary America. Shadow & Act's Brandon Wilson calls Gerima's film "a challenging, non-linear endeavor; half experimental, half narrative, and above all a call to arms" reminiscent of Resnais and Godard.
This free screening is co-sponsored by the Black Film Center/Archive, the Cinema and Media Studies unit at The Media School, and IU Cinema.
In the feature-length documentary Reflections Unheard: Black Women in Civil Rights, film director Nevline Nnaji chronicles the experiences of some of the 60’s and 70’s most prolific black female activists during moments of political triumph as well as in the face of gender, racial, and class inequality. Through a series of interviews and stunning archival footage, Nnaji calls attention to the oft-overlooked obstacles these women endure while organizing for the social and political betterment of women in both nationaland international contexts.
Reflections Unheard: Black Women in Civil Rights, is an official selection of the New York African Diaspora Film Festival, Pan African Film Festival, CinemAfrica Film Festival, and the Black International Cinema Berlin.
Thursday, April 7, 2016 - Saturday April 9, 2016| IU Cinema
The third Latino Film Festival and Conference will put Latina filmmakers, actresses, and Latina film scholars at the center. The aim of this festival and conference is to present new perspectives in the studies of Latina identity that moves us away from stereotypical representations and that showcases the intersectionality of identity within the contexts of immigration, gender, sexuality, social class, and race/ethnicity issues. The Latina Film Festival provides an exciting and productive paradigm in which to showcase the innovative directing and acting of women in documentaries, shorts, and feature length films. Multiple scholars and filmmakers will be present.
Festival and conference sponsors include the Latino Studies Program; College of Arts and Sciences’ Ostrom Grants Program; College Arts & Humanities Institute; Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs; La Casa, IU Latino Cultural Center; Black Film Center/Archive; Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies; Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society; the Asian American Studies program; the departments of Gender Studies and American Studies; and IU Cinema.
Saturday, February 27, 2016 | 8:00 p.m. | 21+ only
At The Bishop, 123 S. Walnut St., Bloomington
Christopher Harris’ award-winning experimental films include a long take look at a post-industrial urban landscape, an optically printed and hand-processed film about black outlaws, a pinhole film about the cosmic consequences of the sun’s collapse, a macro lens close up of a child’s nightlight and a double projection film about a theme park performance of Christ’s Passion. Harris recently completed two multi-screen HD video installations that reenact and reimagine the slave daguerreotypes commissioned by Louis Agassiz in 1850. He was awarded a 2015 Creative Capital grant in support of his upcoming film Speaking in Tongues. His work has screened at festivals, museums and cinematheques throughout North America and Europe and is also featured in the Cinema Scope magazine article Between Two Eyes: Four Emergent Avant-Garde Film/Videomakers for the New Decade. He is currently an Associate Professor of Cinema Studies at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
Sponsored by the Afrosurrealist Film Society, the Black Film Center/Archive, Cinema & Media Studies at The Media School at Indiana University, the IU Libraries Moving Image Archive, and the Underground Film Series. Special thanks to Dan Coleman, the Black Cinema House, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
When We Were Kings (1996, Dir. Leon Gast)
Tuesday, January 12, 2016 | 7:00 p.m. | IU Cinema
Leon Gast’s seminal documentary, When We Were Kings (1996 Academy-Award® winner for Best Documentary Feature), brilliantly captures the vivid theater and political stakes of the 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” championship match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Zaire. Kings operates at a fascinating intersection between sports, politics, and culture to interrogate the fight as a morality play on the shifting state of global Black identity politics in the 1970s. This 20th anniversary screening is co-sponsored by the Black Film Center/Archive, the Center for Documentary Research and Practice, and IU Cinema. (35mm Presentation)
Black Journal: The Black G.I. (1969/1970, Dir. Kent Garrett and Stan Lathan)
No Vietnamese Ever Called Me Nigger (1968, Dir. David Loeb Weiss)
Thursday, December 3, 2015 | 7:00 p.m. | IU Cinema
Black Journal was a weekly public television newsmagazine in the late 1960s/early 1970s that examined the many issues pertinent to the black American experience at the time. This two-part episode, The Black G.I. (55 min.), focuses on the experiences of black G.I.s in the Vietnam War. It features frank discussions from soldiers, ranked officers, and politicians about the racism that defined the different experiences that black soldiers had in this war.
While The Black G.I. focuses on black soldiers in Vietnam, No Vietnamese Ever Called Me Nigger (68 min.) instead trains its lenses on the experiences of black communities in New York during anti-war protests in 1967. Interviewing a variety of people in the streets, as well as black veterans, the film presents a portrait of a moment in American history that stands as a timely and needed reminder of the power of public protest and action.
This screening is part of the IU Cinema series, 40 Years On: Screening the Vietnam War, sponsored by WTIU, IU Cinema, the Black Film Center/Archive, the Cinema and Media Studies program, The Media School, Indiana University Center for Documentary Research and Practice, and Veteran Support Services. No Vietnamese Ever Called Me Nigger has been preserved with funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the New York State Library, Division of Library Development and print is provided courtesy of the Reserve Film and Video Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Contains strong language. There will be a post-screening discussion. (16mm Presentation)
Love and Solidarity in the Struggle for Labor Rights: Learning from Nonviolent Revolutionary James Lawson
Tuesday, November 10, 2015 | 7:00 p.m. | IU Cinema
Love and Solidarity chronicles the life of African American civil rights and labor activist James Lawson, who served as nonviolent theorist for Martin Luther King, Jr. For the last 30 years, Lawson has worked as a Methodist minister in Los Angeles using nonviolent direct action techniques to help immigrants and low-wage workers organize in service economy jobs.
This screening is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences’ Themester 2015, the Black Film Center/Archive, the departments of History, African American and African Diaspora Studies, and Folklore and Ethnomusicology. Director Michael Honey is scheduled to be present.
The event is free, but ticketed.
From Cinematic Past to Fast Forward Present: D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation— A Centennial Symposium
For more information, including a full schedule of events, visit the symposium website.
The year 2015 marks the centennial of D.W. Griffith's THE BIRTH OF A NATION, "the most controversial motion picture of all time." Notwithstanding acclaim for its artistic innovations, THE BIRTH OF A NATION provoked controversy and indignation because it elevated white supremacy and patriarchy to existential cause while fashioning a racist regime of historical memory.
This two-day symposium will assess THE BIRTH OF A NATION's legacy and continuing relevance to transnational, political, and cultural affairs. Further, it will discern the film's utility to idealogical accounts of historical activity and will illume contemporary issues in race relations, immigration policy, and Hollywood representations of race and patriarchy.
This symposium is sponsored by the Black Film Center/Archive in partnership with The Media School and Indiana University Cinema. Co-sponsors include the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies; the Department of American Studies; the Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society; the Cinema and Media Studies Unit; the Department of History; and, the Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions.
Special thanks to the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President. Generous additional support was provided by The College Arts & Humanities Institute; Indiana University’s College of Arts and Sciences Ostrom Grants Program; and, Indiana University’s New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities Program. A program of the Office of the Vice President for Research, New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities is funded by the Office of the President.
New Negress Film Society Short Film Program
Filmmakers Ja’Tovia Gary and Stefani Saintonge will visit Indiana University on Friday, September 4, for a free film screening event at the IU Cinema. The award-winning directors are members of the New Negress Film Society, a "collective of black woman filmmakers whose priority is to create community and spaces for support, exhibition and consciousness-raising.” Their visit will include a conversation moderated by IU Professor Terri Francis, who is currently teaching a course in The Media School called Black Women Make Movies: Race, Gender and Representation.
The program will include screenings of the following works:
Afronauts (2014, 14 min.) dir. Frances Bodomo
You Cannot Haunt Your House at Will (2014, 12 min.) dir. Dyani Douze
Cakes Da Killa: NO HOMO (2013, 13 min.) dir. Ja’Tovia Gary
An Ecstatic Experience (2015, 6 min.) dir. Ja’Tovia Gary
Savage (2012) dir. Kumi James
Seventh Grade (2014, 12 min.) dir. Stefani Saintonge
La Tierra de los Adioses (2013, 27 min.) dir. Stefani Saintonge
The event is free but ticketed.
The literal English translation of luchando is "struggling." The two films in this series are emblematic of women’s ongoing struggle against society’s patriarchal norms. Not only do women directors struggle to get their films made, the characters in these films struggle to make a living and to assert their independence. Luchando: Women in Contemporary Latin America offers a glimpse of the ways that women and people of African descent in the greater Caribbean region fight for recognition.
This series is sponsored by the Black Film Center/Archive, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, American Studies Graduate Student Association, and the departments of American Studies, African American and African Diaspora Studies, Gender Studies, and Spanish and Portuguese. Series curated by Nzingha Kendall.
Dólares de Arena (Sand Dollars) (2014, Dir. Laura Amelia Guzmán and Israel Cárdenas)
Monday, September 14, 2015 | 7:00 p.m. | IU Cinema
In the follow-up to their 2010 feature Jean-Gentil, writer/director duo Laura Amelia Guzmán and Israel Cárdenas turn to the beach town of Las Terrenas in their latest film. Continuing their exploration of post-colonial legacies between the shared island nations of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, Dólares de Arena traces a complex love triangle between an older French woman (Geraldine Chaplin) and a young Dominican man (Ricardo Ariel Toribio), who are both in love with a 20-something Dominican woman (Yanet Mojica). In Spanish and English with English subtitles. (2K DCP Presentation)
Pelo Malo (Bad Hair) (2013, Dir. Mariana Rondón)
Tuesday, September 8, 2015 | 7:00 p.m. | IU Cinema
Mariana Rondón's acclaimed drama centers on the fraught relationship between a single mother, Marta, and her son, Junior, who wants to have his hair straightened for his school photo. Shot in a gritty, working-class Caracas neighborhood, Pelo Malo tackles questions of gender identity and burgeoning sexuality. Moreover racial tensions subtly surface in this sensitively directed and powerfully acted film. After premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, Pelo Malo won awards at Thessaloniki, San Sebastian, and Mar del Plata. In Spanish with English subtitles. (2K DCP Presentation)
With a filmography spanning over forty years, Senegal’s Ousmane Sembène (1923-2007) earned international renown as a revolutionary artist and as the Father of African Cinema for his indigenized filmmaking practice. Sembène eschewed Western languages and narrative style for a new cinematic aesthetic drawing from African storytelling traditions, performed in African languages (Wolof, Diola, Bambara), and expressly produced for African audiences. As Samba Gadjibo quotes Sembène: “Africa is my ‘audience' while the West and the ‘rest’ are only targeted as ‘markets.’” Fifty years on from his first feature production, we celebrate his legacy with a new documentary and two recent digital restorations.
Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman are scheduled to be present at both screenings.
This series is sponsored by the Black Film Center/Archive, the Media School, the Cinema and Media Studies program, and the departments of African Studies, French and Italian, and Comparative Literature. Screenings are Free, but ticketed.
La Noire de…(Black Girl)/ Borom Sarrett (The Wagoner) (1966/ 1963) Directed by Ousmane Sembène
Monday, October 19 | 7:00 pm | IU Cinema
Ousmane Sembène’s first feature, La Noire de...(Black Girl) follows a young Senegalese woman who imagines a glamourous life for herself in Marseille as she begins working for a bourgeois French family. She soon discovers that life as a domestic is a dehumanizing experience not far removed from slavery. La Noire de... earned awards for Sembène at Senegal’s Festival Mondial des Arts Nègres and France’s Festival de Cannes (the prestigious Prix Jean Vigo). Also screening is Sembène’s earlier short, Borom Sarrett (The Wagoner), the story of a poor cart driver struggling in postcolonial Dakar.
Sembene! (2002) Directed by Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman
Tuesday, October 20 | 7:00 pm | IU Cinema
Reviewing its 2015 premiere at Sundance, Bilge Ebiri wrote that, of all the festival’s films this year, “no film demonstrated the power of cinema more resonantly than Sembene!” The documentary chronicles Ousmane Sembène’s fascinating life as a militant artist, self-taught novelist, and “Father of African Cinema.” Using rare archival footage, animation, and the firsthand experience of Sembène expert and colleague Samba Gadjigo, the filmmakers present an honest and complex portrait. Sembene! emerges also as Gadjigo’s story, as he recounts the ways that Sembène’s work transformed his life.
Friday, October 23, 2015 | 6:30 p.m. | IU Cinema
This 1996 documentary from directors Tony Buba and Ray Henderson focuses on the Civil Rights Movement in the heavily segregated steel industry and its equally segregated union, The United Steelworkers of America (USWA), at the time when this industry—devastated by mismanagement and global competition—began to crumble. It is a powerful picture of black working-class life in the latter part of the 20th century, told in a combination of interviews and documentary footage. Through live testimonials and revelatory archival materials, Struggles in Steel shows the contributions of African Americans to the steel industry and to the labor movement more generally. Director Tony Buba is scheduled to be present.
This screening is co-sponsored by the Black Film Center/Archive, _____. It is part of the IU Cinema series, Documenting the Decline of the Urban Working Class: The Films of Tony Buba. The event is free, but ticketed.
Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture with Abderrahmane Sissako
Friday, April 17 – 3:00 p.m. – IU Cinema
One of the world’s leading filmmakers, Abderrahmane Sissako from Mauritania/Mali, is an artist whose transnational poetic vision is grounded in precise, everyday acts and humanity. This retrospective highlights Sissako’s transnational cinematic practice and aesthetics, produced by an allegiance to home mediated by expatriation. Sissako is a particularly compelling filmmaker because his artistic practice has developed in relation to key epochal shifts (colonial to postcolonial, Cold War to global, decolonizing to diasporic) that challenge tidy chronologies and national borders.
This series is sponsored by the College Arts and Humanities Institute, African Studies Program, the Black Film Center/ Archive, the Department of Comparative Literature, the Department of History, Film and Media Studies, The Media School, and the IU Cinema. Special thanks to Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Institut Français, Amélie Garin-Davet, and Marissa Moorman.
Abderrahmane Sissako and Kessen Tall, his co-writer and executive producer for his most recent film, will be on campus April 13–19 and present at several screenings
Screenings are free, but ticketed.
Waiting for Happiness/ Heremakono (2002) Directed by Abderrahmane Sissako
Sunday, April 12 – 6:30 p.m. – IU Cinema
Winner of the 2002 Cannes International Critics Award, this film traces the intersecting lives of the inhabitants of a coastal town, situated where the Sahara Desert meets the Atlantic Ocean. Among them: Abdallah, an urbane, Paris-educated student home for a visit and, Khatra, the young, curious apprentice to a local electrician. Poised on the cusp of the continent, these characters embody a world of exile and adaptation to external forces and local graces. In French, Hassaniya, and Mandarin languages with English subtitles. (35mm presentation)
Timbuktu (2014) Directed by Abderrahmane Sissako
Thursday, April 16 – 6:30 p.m. – IU Cinema
Director Abderrahmane Sissako is scheduled to be present.
Timbuktu is a fictional look at that ancient city of learning and cosmopolitanism overtaken in 2012 by jihadists who impose sharia, ban music and soccer, impose dress codes, and violently enforce the new law. It locates beauty and humanity in the simple act of boys playing soccer without a ball even as it demands a complex perspective. Speaking of the film Sissako said: “I didn’t want to have a Manichean attitude, to have the good on one side and the bad on the other.” In multiple languages with English subtitles. (2K DCP presentation)
Short Films Program (1991-2010) Directed by Abderrahmane Sissako
Thursday, April 16 – 9:30 p.m. – IU Cinema
Includes all of Sissako’s short films. Among them: October (1993), on the relationship of an African student studying in Moscow and his Russian girlfriend on the eve of his departure; Tiya’s Dream (2008), one of eight shorts on the Millennium Development Goals, follows a young Ethiopian school girl with a rich imagination and an ailing father; and Sabriya (1997), shot in the desert landscape of southern Tunisia, looks at two chess-crazed brothers who own a café but are driven apart when one falls in love. In multiple languages with English subtitles. (35mm and digital presentation)
Bamako (2006) Directed by Abderrahmane Sissako
Friday, April 17 – 6:30 p.m. – IU Cinema
Director Abderrahmane Sissako is scheduled to be present.
Abderrahmane Sissako casts a wry eye on the politics of international debt in Bamako. African citizens in Mali’s capital put the World Bank and the IMF on trial in the courtyard of a typical home. Amidst the proceedings—accusations, testimonies, tired faces, tilted judicial wigs—daily life continues. A bar singer, Melé, fetches water in the courtyard, a wedding procession passes by, and a security guard’s gun goes missing. Politically astute, culturally rich, and funny, Sissako puts the macro and micro in the same frame and demands accountability. In multiple languages with English subtitles. (35mm presentation)
Rostov-Luanda (1998) Directed by Abderrahmane Sissako
Friday, April 17 – 9:30 p.m. – IU Cinema
Ostensibly a travelogue by Sissako as he searches for a friend he met at film school in the Soviet Union, this film reveals a war-torn Angola. What Sissako finds in Luanda, Angola’s capital, are broken promises for Angolans and the continent, especially for people of his generation. The film charts these emotional currents, the dislocations of war, and nuggets of hope located in new friendships. French language with English subtitles.
Life on Earth (1998) Directed by Abderrahmane Sissako
Sunday, April 19 – 3:00 p.m. – IU Cinema
A poetic meditation on Africa at the turn of the new millennium, Life on Earth imagines Mali on the last day of the last century. A “fictional documentary,” Life on Earth interlaces images of Sokolo, a border town in Mali, with readings from Aime Césaire, the Caribbean critic of colonialism, and the sounds of the world famous Malian singer Salif Keita. At the center of this film are the dense connections between technologies, people, and places. In French and Bambara languages with English subtitles. (35mm presentation)
We Came to Sweat: The Legend of Starlite
We Came to Sweat: The Legend of Starlite (2014) Directed by Kate Kunath and Sasha Wortzel/ Judy Chicago & the California Girls (1971) Directed by Judith Dancoff
Monday, April 6 – 7:00 p.m. – IU Cinema
Free, but ticketed
In 1962, Mackie Harris founded a gay bar for his Brooklyn community in a highly charged climate of the civil rights movement. We Came to Sweat: the Legend of Starlite documents the impact of gentrification and displacement on the patrons of the Starlite, in a portrait of the living history of the LGBTQ community. This screening is part of the Feminist Art as Self-Help film series, presenting new works in feminist and queer cinema.The series is sponsored by the Department of Communication and Culture, the Film and Media Studies program, the Black Film Center/Archive, the departments of English, Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, and American Studies.
Just Another Notion: Short Films by Mike Henderson
Mike Henderson Short Film Program
Friday, April 3 – 6:30 p.m. – IU Cinema
Director Mike Henderson and archivist Mark Toscano are scheduled to be present.
Painter, professor, and blues man, Mike Henderson is far too little known for his remarkable body of 16mm film work. Radically inventive, often hilariously funny, and very rarely shown, Henderson’s films reflect an unusual synthesis of his music and painting backgrounds, spanning compositional experiments, absurdist musings on creativity, and blues-driven pieces about Black identity, all rendered in a powerful, unadorned DIY directness.
Films include Dufus (1970/73), The Last Supper (1970/73), How to Beat a Dead Horse (1983), and King David (1970/2003), made with Robert Nelson. This program is curated by archivist Mark Toscano and includes several restored prints from the Academy Film Archive. (16mm presentation)
This series is sponsored by the Black Film Center/Archive, the College of Arts and Sciences, The Media School, the Film and Media Studies Program, the Department of American Studies, the Afrosurrealist Film Society, the Underground Film Series, and the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies. Screenings are free, but ticketed.
Thank you to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Film Archive for providing all 16mm prints included in this series.
Black Silence: Films by Zeinabu irene Davis and Charles Lane
Decades before The Artist sparked an international silent revival, two Black independent features—Charles Lane’s Sidewalk Stories and Zeinabu irene Davis’ Compensation—bookended the heyday of the Black New Wave with bold formal experiments incorporating markers of silent cinema into contemporary explorations of friendship, social inequality, and Black experience. To return to silent cinema is to invoke nostalgia, but in the case of these filmmakers, it is a knowing, rather than naïve, romance with a past that excluded African Americans.
This series is sponsored by the Black Film Center/Archive, the College of Arts and Sciences, The Media School, the Film and Media Studies Program, the Department of American Studies, and the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies.
Screenings are free, but ticketed.
Compensation (1993) Directed by Zeinabu irene Davis/ Daydream Therapy (1977) Directed by Bernard Nicolas
Friday, February 20 – 6:30 p.m. – IU Cinema
Director Zeinabu irene Davis is scheduled to be present.
Thanks to Zeinabu irene Davis for the use of her personal 16mm print of Compensation as held in trust by the UCLA Film & Television Archive. The Digibeta of Daydream Therapy is also being provided by the UCLA Film & Television Archive.
Set a century apart, two Chicago love stories of a deaf woman and a hearing man converge in Davis’ feature debut to contemplate Black experiences across lines of class, gender, and ability. Inventive use of sign language and intertitles makes the film accessible for deaf and hearing audiences. Daydream Therapy, the first short by fellow UCLA “L.A. Rebellion” filmmaker Bernard Nicholas, utilizes the limitations and possibilities of silent, small-gauge cinema to poetically render the escapist fantasies of a hotel worker. (16mm/Digibeta.)
Momentum & Work-in-Progress Screening
Friday – 1:00 p.m. – Black Film Center/ Archive
Davis will be at the BFC/A in Wells Library 044 to present and discuss clips from her documentary work-in-progress, SPIRITS OF REBELLION: BLACK FILM AT UCLA, and her 2010 documentary short, MOMENTUM: A CONVERSATION WITH BLACK WOMEN ON ACHIEVING ADVANCED DEGREES. Space is limited, so please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to attend the Work-in-progress event.
Sidewalk Stories (1989) Directed by Charles Lane/ A Natural Born Gambler (1916) Directed by Bert Williams
Monday, March 9 – 7:00 p.m. – IU Cinema
Sidewalk Stories tells the story of a modern day “tramp” and his unlikely friendship with a lost child. Lane pairs the comedic charm of Chaplin with the harrowing social realism of Lionel Rogosin to explore class relations and homelessness in 1980s New York. Lane’s film will follow Bert Williams’ 1916 short A Natural Born Gambler, featuring the Black comic playing on popular stereotypes to provide a point of comparison, as well as a striking point of departure to Sidewalk Stories. Featuring live piano accompaniment for the Williams' film.
The print for A Natural Born Gambler is preserved by The Museum of Modern Art with support from The Lillian Gish Trust for Film Preservation. Thank you to the Museum of Modern Art Film Preservation Center for the generous loan of their 35mm print.
Monday, November 10 - 11:00 a.m. - Brigance Library (800 E. 3rd St., 2nd FL) Akosua Adoma Owusu is an American experimental filmmaker of Ghanaian parentage. Owusu says “through my filmmaking, I hope to open audiences up to a new dialogue between the continents of Africa and America; one that incorporates more than just stereotypes, but includes both conventionalized and unconventionalized discourses of race in its service.” Owusu’s filmmaking practice involves appropriation of preexisting materials and creating original footage. Akosua Adoma Owusu will discuss her films following the 45-minute program along with IU cinema and media studies professor Terri Francis.
ME BRONI BA (MY WHITE BABY) 22 minutes |2009 | digital projection “Me Broni Ba” (“My White Baby”) is a lyrical portrait of hair salons in Kumasi, Ghana. The tangled legacy of European colonialism in Africa is evoked through images of women practicing hair braiding on discarded white baby dolls from the West. The film unfolds through a series of vignettes, set against a child’s story of migrating from Ghana to the United States. The film uncovers the meaning behind the Akan term of endearment, me broni ba, which means “my white baby.”
DREXCIYA 12 minutes |2010| digital projection A portrait of an abandoned public swimming facility located in Accra, Ghana. The Riviera was once known as Ghana’s first pleasure beach. A one-time extravagant Ambassador Hotel of post-colonial – early Kwame Nkrumah era, the Riviera Beach Club thrived until the mid-1970's. The Olympic-sized pool, now in a dilapidated state, is used for locals for things other than swimming. Inspired by the myth of Detroit electronic bands, Drexciya & Underground Resistance.
SPLIT ENDS, I FEEL WONDERFUL 5 minutes | 2012| digital projection A woman attaches hair piece, black women in hair salons get their hair plaited; and a woman models on a yellow turban. Eccentric hairstyles reveal the roots of Afro hair in which activist, Angela Davis becomes involved. Manipulating and re-positioning found footage as subject matter, “Split Ends, I Feel Wonderful” observes the latest fad in hairstyles of 1975 among African-Americans in NYC. The film takes us to a time when Black was beautiful and a symbol of African pride.
This presentation of the Afrosurrealist Film Society is cosponsored by Cinema and Media Studies, the Black Film Center/Archive, American Studies, Cultural Studies, and the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies.
Following the surprise box-office success of American International Pictures’ Blacula in 1972, AIP and other independent studios began producing more horror titles for the Blaxploitation market, from black-cast remakes of Hollywood horror classics to more original genre-bending narratives. While drawing sharp criticism in conservative African American circles for crossing the boundaries of what was deemed respectable, Blaxploitation horror films often turned the over-the-top conventions of horror into critiques of the genre’s white-supremacist subtext of the “monstrous Other.” All films will be screened on 35mm.
The series is co-sponsored with IU Cinema and the Departments of African American and African Diaspora Studies, and Gender Studies.
All screenings are free, but ticketed.
Ganja and Hess (1973) Directed by Bill Gunn
Friday, August 29 – 6:30 p.m. – IU Cinema
Writer/director Bill Gunn’s lushly shot, richly meditative story about black desire and spirituality premiered to acclaim at Critics’ Week in Cannes but had a different reception from its producers, who cut the film by more than 30 minutes and promoted it as Blaxploitation fare under alternate titles Blood Couple and Double Possession. This cult classic was restored by the Museum of Modern Art with support from The Film Foundation. Featuring Duane Jones (Night of the Living Dead), Marlene Clark (The Landlord), and Bill Gunn.
Director’s cut 35mm print courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
J.D.’s Revenge (1976) Directed by Arthur Marks
Friday, October 10 – 7:00 p.m. – IU Cinema
In a nightclub hypnotist act gone wrong, mild-mannered law student Ike becomes the unwitting host for reincarnated 1940s gangster J.D. Walker. J.D.'s spirit is out for revenge, 30 years after the murder of his sister. Ike's friends wonder what has gotten into him as undergoes a complete change of personality — and wardrobe! Shot on location in New Orleans, J.D.'s Revenge stars Lou Gossett, Jr., as a corrupt preacher and Glynn Turman as Ike. (35mm presentation)
Blacula (1972) Directed by William Crain
Friday, October 31 – 9:30 p.m.– IU Cinema
The debut feature by William Crain — one of the first African American directors to graduate from UCLA’s film program — Blacula stars Gary, Ind. native William Marshall as African prince Mamuwalde, christened “Blacula” by the original Count Dracula upon cursing him with vampirism. Fast forward 200 years: two flamboyant American antiques dealers buy Blacula’s coffin and transport him from Transylvania to 1970s Los Angeles, where, awakened, he discovers Tina (Vonetta McGee), a woman with an uncanny resemblance to his dead wife. (35mm presentation)
The spirit of collaboration and the desire to uncover hidden stories mark Afro-Cuban director Gloria Rolando’s approach to filmmaking. Rolando’s documentaries are unequivocally Cuban, and are also inextricably linked to the country’s African diasporic roots. As a founding member of the film collective Imágenes del Caribe, Rolando’s practice exemplifies the independent filmmaking spirit: “None of my projects has had a budget: they begin with a borrowed camera, or a little money to rent equipment, but always with a clear idea of the story I want to tell.”
The series was co-sponsored with La Casa, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Cultural Studies Program, CUBAmistad, Film & Media Studies Departments of Gender Studies, History, Spanish and Portuguese, and IU Cinema.
Reembarque / Re-embark (2014) Directed by Gloria Rolando
Sunday, October 5 – 6:30 p.m. – IU Cinema
Reembarque explores intra-Caribbean migration, a topic she first broached in her earlier documentaries My Footsteps in Baraguá (1996) and Pasajes de corazón y la memoria (2007). The film probes the economic and social effects of exploitation of cheap labor from across the Caribbean to work on Cuban plantations. Spurred the persistence of Haitian traditions– such as creole music and vodou– in the Cuban cultural landscape, Reembarque exposes the little-known history of Haitian migrants to Cuba and their subsequent, forced deportation during the early twentieth century. (HD Cam. 59 min. Not Rated.)
1912, Breaking the Silence (2013) Directed by Gloria Rolando
Monday, October 6 - 7:00 p.m. - IU Cinema
Over ten years in the making, 1912, Voces para un silencio unearths the history of Cuba’s Partido Independiente de Color (PIC). Founded in 1908 by Afro-Cuban veterans of Cuba’s war for independence, the PIC was the second black-led party in the Americas. They struggled for racial, political, and economic equality in the early years of the republic. Using a creative mix of interviews and archival documents, Rolando pieces together the historical antecedents that led to the shocking 1912 massacre of thousands of Afro-Cubans affiliated with the PIC. Originally conceived as a three-part series, this recently completed version includes the third and final episode. (HD Cam. 164 min. Not Rated.)
Naked Acts: Image Making and Black Female Sexuality
Bridgett M. Davis' 1996 film Naked Acts is the first feature written, directed, produced, and self-distributed by an African American woman. Davis and her creative partner, visual artist Renée Cox, will be present for a two-day workshop organized around the expressly Black feminist themes of the film and of their individual work in other media. This program is made possible by a grant from the College of Arts & Humanitites Insitutute, and support from the College of Arts and Sciences; the Kinsey Institute; the Departments of American Studies, Gender Studies, English, and African American & African Diaspora Studies; the Film and Media Studies and Creative Writing Programs; and IU Cinema.
Naked Acts (1996) Directed by Bridgett M. Davis
Monday, September 29 – 7:00 p.m. –IU Cinema
With director Bridgett M. Davis and actress/artist Renée Cox.
"Imagine that your grandmother was Dorothy Dandridge, your mother was Pam Grier, and you wanted to be an actress. Who would you be?" With Naked Acts' story of a young actress struggling against the pressure to perform a nude scene on screen, writer/ director Bridgett M. Davis sets out to examine the impact on self-image of "the dominant film portrayals of Black women in this country's cinematic history" and "to get beyond the limiations placed on our bodies by our racialized past."
Artist Talk with Renée Cox
Tuesday, September 30 – 10:30 AM – Indiana Memeorial Union (IMU) Dogwood Room
Renée Cox is a Jamaican American photographer known for her challenging nude self-portraiture. Her work has appeared in major exhibitions at the Venice Biennale, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Institute of Contemporary Art.
Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture with Bridgett M. Davis and Renée Cox
Tuesday, September 30 – 3:00 p.m. - IU Cinema
An extensive discussion between writer/director Bridgett M. Davis and artist/photographer Renée Cox of their creative partnership on NAKED ACTS and their work individually on themes of black women’s sexuality and its representation in film, literature, and art. Moderated by LaMonda Horton-Stallings, Associate Professor, Gender Studies, American Studies.
Into the Go-Slow Reading/ Book Signing with Bridgett M. Davis
Tuesday, September 30 – 7PM – Boxcar Books (408 E. 6th Street)
Author, Filmmaker, and Associate professor of English at the City University of New York's Baruch College, Bridgett M. Davis will read from her second novel, Into the Go-Slow (Feminist Press, 2014).
In 1986 Detroit, twenty-one-year-old Angie passes time working in a mall and watching sitcoms with her mom. But beneath the surface, she is consumed by thoughts of her sister’s death years earlier in Nigeria. Ella had introduced Angie to Black Power and a vision of returning to Africa. On impulse, Angie travels to Lagos and begins to retrace Ella’s steps. Against a backdrop of the city’s infamous go-slow—traffic as wild and unpredictable as a Fela lyric—she uncovers some harsh truths. For anyone who has wished to be of a different era, this book captures the pain of living vicariously and the exhilaration of finding yourself. —Forthcoming in September from The Feminist Press at CUNY.
God Loves Uganda (2013) Directed by Roger Ross Williams
Sunday, September 7 – 3:00 p.m. –IU Cinema
Free, but ticketed
God Loves Uganda is a powerful exploration of the evangelical campaign to change African cultures with values imported from America’s Christian Right. The film follows American and Ugandan religious leaders fighting “sexual immorality” (homosexuality) and missionaries trying to convince Ugandans to follow Biblical law. Filmmaker Roger Ross Williams exposes the missionary movement in Uganda as an outgrowth of Africa’s colonialist past and a 21st century crusade to recreate a continent of people in the image and likeness of America’s most extreme fundamentalists. (2K DCP presentation)
Sponsored by the, GLBT Student Support Services, Office of Diversity Education, a unit of the Office of Diversity, Equity, & Multicultural Affairs, Commission on Multicultural Understanding, Black Film Center/Archive, and IU Cinema.
Roots/Routes: Contemporary Caribbean Film
Inspired by the reflections of scholars Stuart Hall and Paul Gilroy on the roots and routes of black identity, this series is a glimpse into the vibrancy of contemporary Caribbean filmmaking. These films deal witht he legacies of migration to and from the region, as well as the tug of close familial and distant ancestral links. Representing the Caribbean's linguistic and cultural diversity, Roots/Routes especially emphasizes woman-directed and women-centered films as integral to a truly dynamic Caribbean cinema culture.
Sponsored by the Black Film Center/Archive, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Minority Languages and Cultures Program, and IU Cinema. Special thanks to Nzingha Kendall. Screenings are free, but ticketed.
Le Bonheur d'Elza (2011) Directed by Mariette Monpierre
February 24 - Monday - 7:00 p.m.
Director Mariette Monpierre is scheduled to be present.
After graduating from university in Paris, Elza defies her mother's wishes and returns to the island of her birth. She wants a break from her hectic city life and to reconnect with the father she barely remembers. In this lushly shot film, Monpierre captures the intricacies of class, skin color, and family ties in Guadeloupe. Winner of FES-PACO's Paul Robeson Award for Best Film of the Diaspora, and the Pan African Film Festival's Special Jury Prize, Programmers Award, and BAFTA/LA Festival Choice Award, Le Bonheur d'Elza was also a New York Times Critics' Pick.
In French language with English subtitles. The film will be preceded by the short film Auntie (2013), directed by Lisa Harewood. (HD. 93 min. Not Rated.)
La Hija Natural (2011) Directed by Leticia Tonos
March 10 - Monday - 7:00 p.m.
Spurred by the suddend eath of her mother, maria embarks on a quest to find her absent father. Her travels take her to an abandoned banana plantation in a neighboring town where she encounters taciturn widower Joaquin, and his Haitian domestic worker Polo Montifa. Justiniano, a mysterious stranger from Puerto Rico, complicates matters in this magical realist melodrama. The first Dominican feature film directed by a woman, La Hija Natural was the Dominican Republic's offical submission to the 84th Academy Awards for best foreign language film. The film will be preceded by the short film Chimbumbe (2008), directed by Antonio Coello.
In Spanish language with English subtitles. (HDCam. 109 min. Not Rated.)
Latino Film Festival and Conference
Numbering more than 53 million, U.S. Latinos are transforming communities in which they settle, work, and raise families. While their national backgrounds and personal histories vary widely, their lives are deeply interconnected by attachments that span the Americas. Latino lives are at once quintessentially “American” and yet increasingly transnational—linked to Latin America by history and memory, money and politics, migration, and the shared dream of a better life. This second Latino Film Festival and Conference showcases the “Transnational Lives” that define Latina/o experiences in the United States mainland and beyond. Multiple scholars and filmmakers will be present, including Edward James Olmos and Chon Noriega (UCLA). All films are in English and/or Spanish languages with English subtitles.
Event sponsors include Latino Studies Program, College of Arts and Sciences’ Ostrom Grants Program, College Arts & Humanities Institute, La Casa – IU Latino Cultural Center, Department of Spanish & Portuguese, Department of American Studies, Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies, Black Film Center/Archive Department of Communication & Culture, Department of History and Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs (DEMA) and IU Cinema.
Mosquita y Mari (2012) Directed by Aurora Guerrero
April 3 - Thursday - 7:00 p.m.
Set in a predominately Mexican, immigrant neighborhood in Los Angeles, Mosquita y Mari tells the story of two 15-year-old Chicanas growing up. As a sheltered, only-child to her older, immigrant parents, Yolanda’s sole concern is securing her college-bound future. In contrast, street-wise Mari hustles to help her undocumented family stay above water. Though much different, they are soon brought together when Mari is threatened with expulsion after saving Yolanda from an incident at school. The two forge a friendship that soon proves more complex when a moment between them reveals a sexual undercurrent. (HDCam. 85 min. Not Rated.)
La Lucha de Ana (2012) Directed by Bladimir Abud
April 3 - Thursday - 9:30 p.m.
A flower-seller named Ana must fight to obtain justice for the murder of her only son who was “accidentally” assassinated by the son of a diplomat. Living in a poor neighborhood of Santo Domingo, Ana faces police corruption and threats from all sides. Thanks to the support of her friends and neighborhood, a cell phone video capturing her son’s murder allows justice to prevail. This award-winning film paints a realistic picture of the contrasts between rich and poor in the Dominican Republic. (Digital. 90 min. Not Rated.)
The Salinas Project (2014) - Directed by Carolyn Brown
April 4 - Friday - 9:00 a.m.
There will be a Q&A with director Carolyn Brown to follow screening.
About one hour south of the wealthy Silicon Valley, sits the agricultural town of Salinas, the epicenter of the 1960s farmworker movement. On the east side of Salinas, in a neighborhood known as Alisal, deplorable housing conditions and gang violence are part of daily life. Big changes happening within the community, however, are bringing about a sense of renewal. This documentary profiles several children of migrant farm workers living in Alisal. Without resources, and sometimes undocumented, their future is often uncertain, but their hope and resilience is abundant. The Salinas Project helps viewers understand this immigrant community that is often misrepresented in the media, and highlights the successes and hopes of this community in the face of adversity. (HD presentation)
Prejudice and Pride (2013) Directed by John Valadez
April 4 - Friday - 10:15 a.m.
There will be a Q&A with director John Valadez to follow screening.
The turbulent decade of the 1960s marked a turning point in the long struggle for Mexican-American civil rights. As César Chávez and Dolores Huerta organized California’s farmworkers to fight for better wages and a union, Chicana and Chicano students in Los Angeles conducted high-school “blowouts” to protest educational neglect. Throughout the US Southwest, activists deployed an array of strategies that included the takeover of public buildings and lands, as well as more conventional voter registration campaigns, to demand political and social change. The youth of the Chicana/o Movement—or, el Movimiento—paved the way for the eventual creation of Latina/o Studies programs in US universities. (Digital presentation)
Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture with Edward James Olmos and Chon Noriega
April 4 - Friday - 3:00 p.m.
Go For Sisters (2013) Directed by John Sayles
April 4 - Friday - 6:30 p.m.
Edward James Olmos is scheduled to be present.
Bernice (LisaGay Hamilton) and Fontayne (Yolonda Ross) grew up so close people said they could “go for sisters”, but time sent them down different paths. Twenty years later, those paths cross: Fontayne is a recovering addict fresh out of jail, and Bernice is her new parole officer.
When Bernice’s son Rodney goes missing on the Mexican border, his shady associates all in hiding or brutally murdered, Bernice realizes she needs someone with the connections to navigate Rodney's world without involving the police… and turns to her old friend. The pair enlist the services of disgraced ex-LAPD detective Freddy Suárez (Edward James Olmos) and plunge into the dim underbelly of Tijuana, forced to unravel a complex web of human traffickers, smugglers, and corrupt cops before Rodney meets the same fate as his partners.
As much a story of relationships as a story of crime, GO FOR SISTERS is a welcome return to the border for master filmmaker and two-time Academy Award nominee John Sayles (“Lone Star,” “Passion Fish”). (2K DCP. 123 min. Not Rated.)
In the Time of the Butterflies (2001) Directed by Mariano Barroso
April 4 - Friday - 9:30 p.m.
Edward James Olmos is scheduled to be present.
Based on Julia Álvarez’s bestselling novel, this fact-based story follows the four Mirabal sisters during the dictatorship of Rafael Leónidas Trujillo (Edward James Olmos) in the Dominican Republic. Minerva (Salma Hayek), the most rebellious of the four sisters, begins to have doubts about Trujillo while in Catholic school; she later studies law in Santo Domingo, yet is prevented by Trujillo from exercising her profession. She meets a young professor, Virgilio (Marc Anthony), who introduces her to the opposition movement against Trujillo, which has its consequences. (Digital. 95 min. Rated PG-13.)
Dominican Shorts Program
April 5 - Saturday - 10:30 a.m.
This program of Dominican Shorts was curated by Tanya Valette. All filma are in Spanish language with English subtitles.
Ysrael Directed by Leticia Tonos (11:31 min.)
Adaptation of a short story by Junot Díaz. Two boys from a marginal city neighborhood go to spend a family vacation in the countryside, finding themselves faced with an estrangement not so different from that of the short story’s author. The director has made the transition from literature to film with a complicit eye and in a moving and honest way.
La Mujer de Columbus Circle-Directed by Freddy Vargas (39:25 min.)
Adaptation of a short story by Franklin Gutiérrez. The encounter of a young banker with a disquieting woman in a subway station of New York changes his perception of a reality that comes in layers.
Pedro de Bella Vista y su Sueño-Directed by Rodrigo Montealegre (15:17 min.)
A short movie situated at the limits between documentary and fiction, and between the two subjectivities of the author and his subject.
Vecino-Directed by Argenis Mills (11:05 min.)
A Dominican emigrant comes to live in a big city and struggles painfully to survive amidst the nostalgia and the difficulties of his adjustment to his new environments and friends.
Papá está en el Cielo-Directed by Francisco Rodríguez (6:00 min.)
The innocence of a boy and the inner workings of Trujillo’s dictatorship come together in this subtle and startling short movie.
Jean Gentil (2010) Directed by Laura Amelia Guzman and Israel Cardenas
April 5 - Saturday - 4:30 p.m.
Directors Laura Amelia Guzman and Israel Cardenas are scheduled to be present.
Based on a true story, Jean Gentil is a well-educated Haitian man who has lived for many years in the Dominican Republic without being able to find steady work. A fervent believer, Jean undertakes a voyage across the country asking God what he wants him to be. Dominican-Mexican directors Laura Amelia Guzmán and Israel Cárdenas expose a country unknown to many, with breathtaking landscapes, rarely seen sites of Santo Domingo, and the quiet humor of the conversations Jean has with those he meets on his way. Directors Laura Amelia Guzmán and Israel Cárdenas are scheduled to be present. (35mm. 84 min. Not Rated.)
America (2011) Directed by Sonia Fritz
April 5 - Saturday - 7:00 p.m.
Director Sonia Fritz is scheduled to be present.
This nuanced adaptation of Esmeralda Santiago’s novel América’s Dream (1997) retraces the plight of a Puerto Rican mother named América, as she flees an abusive lover from her native Puerto Rico. Seeking refuge and a new life in New York, América befriends three domestic coworkers—a Mexican, a Colombian, and a Dominican. With their support, she sets out to find and reconnect with her runaway 14-year-old daughter, and in the process is forced to confront the cycle of violence that haunts her. (35mm. 95 min. Not Rated.)
Bless Me, Ultima (2013) Directed by Carl Franklin
April 5 - Saturday - 9:30 p.m.
Based on the acclaimed novel by Rudolfo Anaya, the film tells the poignant story of Antonio, a young boy coming of age in New Mexico during World War II. When a curandera named Última comes to live with his family, she teaches him about the power of the spiritual world—a world that has its roots in indigenous beliefs and practices. As their relationship grows, Antonio begins to question the strict Catholic doctrine of his parents. Through a series of mysterious events Antonio must grapple with questions of his faith and how to reconcile Ultima’s powers with those of the God of his church. (2K DCP. 106 min. Rated PG-13.)
The New Black - Documentary Film Screening
The New Black (2013) Directed by Yoruba Richen
January 27, 2014 - 7:00 PM
Tackling the misconception that African-Americans are more homophobic than any other group in the United States, The New Black offers a nuanced perspective on the intersections of race, sexuality, religion, and politics. Shot during the run-up to Maryland's historic 2012 referendum on same-sex marriage, the film follows activists on both sides of the debate, revealing a rich diversity within black America. For Richen, the conflict over same-sex marriage is tied up not only with the struggle to define black family, but also with the legitimacy of black participation and acceptance in American society.
Sponsored by the Black Film Center/Archive, Department of Gender Studies, and IU Cinema.
(Digital. 80 min. Not Rated.)
Regeneration in Digital Contexts: Early Black Film Conference
November 15, 2013
In this full-day conference, the Black Film Center/Archive convenes an interdisciplinary group of scholars and moving image archivists to discuss the new methodologies and questions emerging through recent scholarship in early black film, and to consider how we render a film as an object of study in transformative digital environments. Special thanks to the National Endowment for the Humanities' Office of Digital Humanities and the Indiana University College of Arts and Sciences for their support. During the conference, IU Cinema will present two silent films, The Flying Ace and Within Our Gates, with live accompaniment from pianist Philip Carli.
The Flying Ace (1926) Directed by Richard E. Norman
November 15 - Friday - 7:00 PM
In ‘Six Smashing Reels of Action,’ The Flying Ace tells the story of World War I flyer-hero Captain William Stokes (Lawrence Criner) who returns home to solve the mystery of a missing paymaster and save the life of the beautiful Ruth Sawtelle (Kathryn Boyd). Featuring an all-black cast, The Flying Ace is the only full-length film surviving from Richard Norman, a prominent director and distributor of silent race films in the 1920s. The film was restored in 2010 by the Library of Congress from an original nitrate print donated by the director’s son, Captain Richard Norman, Jr. Screening is free but ticketed. Live accompaniment from pianist Dr. Philip Carli.
Within Our Gates (1919) Directed by Oscar Micheaux
November 16 - Saturday - 3:00 PM
Through his young protagonist, Sylvia Landry (Evelyn Preer), Oscar Micheaux critically examines the lines between races, classes, and North and South in his earliest surviving film. The complex and twist-filled narrative follows Sylvia as she crosses between North and South, recovering from a broken engagement by finding new purpose in a rural school for African American children and new love with Dr. Vivian (Charles D. Lucas). Long thought lost, a single nitrate print of Within Our Gates was discovered under its Spanish release title, La Negra, at the Filmoteca Española and reconstructed by the Library of Congress. Screening is free but ticketed. Live accompaniment from pianist Dr. Philip Carli.
National Endowment for the Humanities Support
The Regeneration Conference has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed on this website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
LA Rebellion X2
A milestone in American cinema, the L.A. Rebellion began in the late 1960s when a number of promising African and African American students entered the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. From that first class through the late 1980s these filmmakers forged a unique and sustained alternative Black cinema practice in the United States. Along the way, they created fascinating, provocative and visionary films that have earned an impressive array of awards and accolades at festivals around the world. IU Cinema presents two programs of new prints and restorations from UCLA Film & Television Archive’s groundbreaking 2011 series, “L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema.”
Presented in association with UCLA Film & Television Archive and supported in part by grants from the Getty Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The series is curated by Allyson Nadia Field, Jan-Christopher Horak, Shannon Kelley, and Jacqueline Stewart. Presented in partnership with the Black Film Center/Archive. Jan-Christopher Horak (UCLA) and Jacqueline Stewart (University of Chicago) are scheduled to be present.
Bless Their Little Hearts (1984) Directed by Billy Woodberry
November 16 - Saturday - 7:00 PM
Billy Woodberry’s film chronicles the devastating effects of underemployment on a family in the same Los Angeles community depicted in Killer of Sheep (1977), and it pays witness to the ravages of time in the short years since its predecessor. Nate Hardman and Kaycee Moore deliver gut-wrenching performances as the couple whose family is torn apart by events beyond their control. If salvation remains, it’s in the sensitive depiction of everyday life, which persists throughout. – Ross Lipman. Preservation funded by the National Film Preservation Foundation and the Packard Humanities Institute. Preserved by UCLA Film & Television Archive’s preservation department. Laboratory services by Stanford Theatre Film Laboratory, Audio Mechanics and NT Picture and Sound. (35mm. 84 min. Not Rated.)
Your Children Come Back to You (1979) A Different Image (1982) Directed by Alile Sharon Larkin
November 17 - Sunday - 3:00 PM
A single mother ekes out a living from welfare check to welfare check, struggling to provide for her daughter. She is faced with the decision to look after her personally or to allow her sister-in-law to provide “more than enough” to go around. Larkin’s film masterfully presents a child’s perspective on wealth and social inequality. (16mm. 30 min. Not Rated.) An African American woman living away from her family in Los Angeles yearns to be recognized for more than her physical attributes. In cultivating the friendship of a male office mate, she aspires to a relationship where sex is not a factor, seeking someone who can “see her as she is,” rather than see only what he wants to see. - Samuel B. Prime (16mm. 51 min. Not Rated.)
Cuba, An African Odyssey (2007) Directed by Jihan El-Tahri
October 10 - Sunday - 3:00 PM
From Che Guevara’s military campaign to avenge Lumumba in the Congo up to the fall of apartheid in South Africa, 300,000 Cubans fought alongside African revolutionaries. Cuba, an African Odyssey is the previously untold story of Cuba’s support for African revolutions, one of the Cold War’s most vigorous contests over resources and ideology.
Meet SUGAR HILL and her ZOMBIE HIT MEN...The Mafia has never met anything like them!
The Black Film Center/Archive will co-sponsor a free Halloween screening of the 1974 film Sugar Hill with the Black Graduate Student Association at 7:30PM. Sugar Hill will be screened at the Black Film Center Archive: Wells Library, Room 044, 1320 East Tenth Street, Bloomington, IN. 47405
Sugar Hill (1974) Directed by Paul Maslansky
October 31, 2013 - 7:30PM
When her boyfriend is brutally murdered, after refusing to be shaken down by the local gangsters running their protection racket, Sugar Hill, decides not to get mad, but BAD! Calling upon the help of aged voodoo queen Mama Maitresse, Sugar entreats her to call upon Baron Zamedi, the Lord of the Dead, for help in gaining a gruesome revenge. In exchange for her soul, the Dark Master raises up a zombie army to do her bidding. The bad guys who thought they were getting away clean are about to find out that they're DEAD wrong.
Queer Rebels - Exploding Lineage!: Queer of Color Histories in Experimental Media (2012)
October 11 - Friday - 6:30 PM
Featuring innovative work by a diverse group of media artists, Exploding Lineage explores the complexities of identity construction in African, Asian, and Latino queer diasporas. Curated for the 25th MIX NYC queer experimental film festival, the program includes KB Boyce’s Bulldagger Women and Sissy Men, a tribute to queer artists of the Harlem Renaissance, and Celeste Chan’s Bloodlines, a lyrical recognition of Chinese immigrants detained on Angel Island due to the Chinese Exclusion Act. These selections question conventions, bringing to light queer contributions to the American past while asserting a vibrant existence in the present. Filmmakers and curators KB Boyce and Celeste Chan, of Queer Rebel Productions, are scheduled to be present. This event is part of the Underground Film Series. (2K DCP. 80 min. Not Rated.)
The Exploding Lineage!: Queer of Color Histories in Experimental Media event is co-sponsored by the Black Film Center/Archive, Bloomington PRIDE, Center for the Study of Global Change, Department of African American and African Diapsora Studies, Department of American Studies, Department of Communication and Culture, Department of Gender Studies, East Asian Studies Center, Film and Media Studies program, and GLBT Student Support Services.
South Africa: Apartheid And After
Between 1948 and 1994, South Africa stood out as a defiant last redoubt of official white supremacy and extreme racial segregation. This series offers a wide range of visual and narrative treatments of the problems of political repression, racial discrimination, the peculiarities of life under apartheid, and the persistent links between the U.S. and South Africa. The series is sponsored by the History Department, African Studies, Black Film Center/Archive and IU Cinema and is shown in conjunction with the Mathers Museum exhibit Margaret Bourke-White and the Dawn of Apartheid.
Cry, the Beloved Country (1951) Directed by Zoltan Korda
October 22 - Tuesday - 7:00 PM
Based on Alan Paton’s famous novel illustrating racial divisions in post-World War II South Africa, Cry, the Beloved Country, was filmed on location during the first years of apartheid. The film dramatizes the collision of African rural and urban cultures. Actors Sidney Poitier and Canada Lee star, while having to negotiate South Africa’s complex racial terrain while shooting the film. Although critical of South African racism, the film also represents Paton’s view that black South Africans proved poorly adaptable to modern urban industrial life. (35mm. 103 min. Not Rated.)
Come Back, Africa (1959) Directed by Lionel Rogosin
November 2 - Saturday - 7:00 PM
Come Back Africa remains one of the most famous—and yet, rarely seen—visual records of black urban life under apartheid. Shot clandestinely in a cinema-verité style, it recounts the story of a black migrant worker making his way through the workplaces, white homes, and black leisure spaces of segregated Johannesburg. Milestone Films’ recent restoration has given new life to the most politically and aesthetically important film on black life in South Africa in the 1950s, illustrating the new urban black culture that blossomed in Johannesburg’s thriving Sophiatown. (35mm. 95 min. Not Rated.)
Searching for Sugar Man (2012) Directed by Malik Bendjelloul
November 10 - Sunday - 6:30 PM
This Oscar-winning documentary chronicles the life of Sixto Rodriguez, a Detroit singer who recorded two albums in the early 1970s and was forgotten in the U.S. When ambitions to become the next Bob Dylan fell flat, he found work doing manual labor and disappeared into obscurity. A bootlegged copy of one of his albums made it to apartheid South Africa where, unbeknownst to him, his socially engaged music became a huge hit in the 1980s. In 1997, after the end of apartheid, two South African fans (a record store owner and a journalist) found him in Detroit. They arranged a tour of postapartheid South Africa, creating a world-wide revival of his music. (2K DCP. 86 min. Rated PG-13.)
An African American Independent: The Films of Kevin Willmott
For almost 15 years Kevin Willmott has independently written, produced and directed films that critically examine American’s racial history and its associated images. He works is a variety of cinematic genres, exploiting their potential to represent characters and subjects generally avoided by mainstream cinema. As a native Kansan, Willmott is also committed to producing stories situated in the landscape and history of Kansas. This Midwestern aspect of his filmmaking reminds us of the potential of cinema to reveal a deep structure that is local and particular.
The African American Independent: The Films of Kevin Willmott film series is co-sponsored by The Black Film Center/Archive, Department of English, Department of History, Department of Communication and Culture, Department of American Studies, and Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies.
Film Screenings at the Black Film Center/Archive
The Battle for Bunker Hill (2008) Directed by Kevin Willmott
October 2 - Wednesday - 7:00 PM
When former Wall Street executive Peter Salem is released from prison, he heads for the small town of Bunker Hill, Kansas, where his ex-wife and their children have started a new life. Soon after he arrives in town, all power is lost - there is no electricity, and cars and computers suddenly shut down. Community leaders are at a loss to explain. Is it the rapture? A massive terrorist attack? Aliens? Cut off from the world, the town's militant past is reawakened and forces coalesce to protect citizens from an unseen enemy, represented to some by Mr. Farook, an elderly Pakistani immigrant who owns the local convenience store. The town's fear leads to the creation of a posse of gunmen, resulting in torture, illegal searches and eventually, murder. (Not Rated.)
The Only Good Indian(2009) Directed by Kevin Willmott
October 9 - Wednesday - 7:00 PM
Set in Kansas during the early 1900s, a teen-aged Native American boy (newcomer Winter Fox Frank) is taken from his family and forced to attend a distant Indian "training" school to assimilate into White society. When he escapes to return to his family, Sam Franklin (Wes Studi), a bounty hunter of Cherokee descent, is hired to find and return him to the institution. Franklin, a former Indian scout for the U.S. Army, has renounced his Native heritage and has adopted the White Man's way of life, believing it's the only way for Indians to survive. Along the way, a tragic incident spurs Franklin's longtime nemesis, the famous "Indian Fighter" Sheriff Henry McCoy (J. Kenneth Campbell), to pursue both Franklin and the boy. (114 min. Not Rated.)
Film Screenings at IU Cinema
CSA: The Confederate States of America (2004) Directed by Kevin Willmott
October 14 - Monday - 7:00 PM
Kevin Willmott's CSA: The Confederate States of America asks "What if the South had won the War?" In this
provocative satire, Willmott imagines an alternate history where slavery is still legal. Using the film-within-afilm
technique, Willmott constructs a TV documentary that examines the legacy of the victorious Confederates.
Commercial breaks add another layer of humor, featuring real-world products such as an electric shackle to
deter runaway slaves and "Darkie" toothpaste. Of particular note is a spoof of a D.W. Griffith film featuring a
fugitive Abraham Lincoln. After its successful premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, Spike Lee assisted in the
film’s distribution. Director Kevin Willmott is scheduled to be present. (2K DCP. 89 min. Not Rated.)
Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture with Kevin Willmott
October 15 - Tuesday - 3:00 PM
Destination: Planet Negro (2013) Directed by Kevin Willmott
October 15- Tuesday - 7:00 PM
As in his previous films, Kevin Willmott’s most recent film takes inspiration from momentous historic events and adds a hilarious, yet incisive, twist. Destination: Planet Negro begins in the 1930s, joining Black History luminaries W.E.B. DuBois and George Washington Carver to solve the “Negro Problem” – by leaving planet Earth. In this send-up of the sci-fi genre film, problems abound as the characters travel through space and time. In keeping with the indie spirit, Willmott wrote, directed and stars in the film. Director Kevin Willmott is scheduled to be present. (2K DCP. 98 min. Not Rated.)
A Call to Action: Ava DuVernay and AFFRM
Winner of the Best Director award at Sundance in 2012, Ava DuVernay is a veritable trailblazer in the independent film world. In addition to writing, directing and producing her own films, DuVernay launched a groundbreaking film distribution venture, the African American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM), in 2011. Through a strategic alliance with a network of African American and African diasporic film festivals, AFFRM achieves wider theatrical distribution for the independent films on its carefully-curated roster than was ever open to them through dominant distribution channels. By challenging the terms of participation for black filmmakers in American cinema, AFFRM is, as DuVernay has noted, not so much a business as a call to action. The series is sponsored by the Black Film Center/Archive, Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies, Department of American Studies, Department of Communication and Culture, Film and Media Studies program, IU Cinema and Indiana University Women’s Philanthropy Council.
Black Film Center/Archive Film Screenings
In support of the film series A Call to Action: Ava DuVernay and AFFRM, the Black Film Center/Archive is hosting two film screenings. Screenings are held at the BFC/A, Wells Library, Room 044, 1320 East Tenth Street, Bloomington, IN. 47405.
My Mic Sounds Nice: A Truth about Women and Hip Hop (2010) Directed by Ava DuVernay
September 11 - Wednesday - 7:00 PM
My Mic Sounds Nice: A Truth About Women in Hip Hop explores the demise of the female MC in today's music with interviews from Missy Elliott, Trina, Eve, other female MCs and music industry executives.
Big Words (2013) Directed by Neil Drumming
September 18 - Wednesday - 7:00 PM
Set in Brooklyn on the eve of Obama’s history-making election, three former members of a promising hip-hop crew cross paths again to discover that some things never change. Former frontman John, once known as Big Words, is now a working class guy who raps only to himself. James is a publicist living with his boyfriend, far removed from the days when he rhymed about getting girls. While DJ Malik still spins records with a longing for the glory days. Together again on the day of a landmark election, the friends reckon with dreams deferred and new hopes.
Film Screenings at IU Cinema
Better Mus’ Come (2010) Directed by Storm Saulter
September 15 - Sunday - 3:00 PM
A love story partially inspired by the 1978 Green Bay Massacre, which resulted from the contentious political rivalry between Michael Manley and Edward Seaga, Storm Saulter’s debut probes the culture of political violence in Jamaica. Ricky (Sheldon Shepherd) and Kamala (Sky Nicole Grey) play a dangerous game as they embark on a relationship despite their rivaling neighborhood allegiances. Part of a new wave of Caribbean cinema, Better Mus’ Come played to packed houses in Jamaica and won Best Picture at the Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados International Film Festivals. In 2013, Better Mus’ Come was selected by Ava DuVernay to launch AFFRM’s new multi-platform distribution label, ARRAY. (2K DCP. 104 min. Not Rated.)
This is the Life (2008) Directed by Ava DuVernay
September 15 - Sunday - 6:30 PM
Championed as one of the “must-see hip-hop documentaries” by the LA Weekly, Ava DuVernay’s award-winning directorial debut, This is the Life, documents the progressive hip-hop scene that coalesced in 1990s Los Angeles around The Good Life Café’s weekly open-mic nights. DuVernay (also seen here as MC Eve of Figures of Speech) traces the origins and legacy of The Good Life scene as an alternative musical and lifestyle movement asserting itself against the city’s dominant gangster rap culture. DuVernay’s first experiences with self-distribution for This is the Life informed the strategy behind her creation of AFFRM. (2K DCP. 97 min. Not Rated.)
Venus VS (2013) Directed by Ava DuVernay
September 19 - Thursday - 7:00 PM
DuVernay goes back to her beginnings in documentary to trace Venus Williams’ courageous call for financial parity in professional tennis. Taking her lead from pioneering tennis champion Billie Jean King, Williams was instrumental in influencing officials at Wimbledon and the French Open to award equal prize money to both men and women players. In 2007, Williams won the women’s single title at Wimbledon, becoming the first woman to benefit from this change of policy, earning the same amount as Roger Federer, her male counterpart. Produced for ESPN’s Nine for IX, Venus VS premiered this year at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Director Ava DuVernay is scheduled to be present. (HD Cam. 60 min. Not Rated.)
Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture with Ava DuVernay Friday - September 20 - 3:00 p.m.
Middle of Nowhere (2012) Directed by Ava DuVernay
September 20 - Friday - 6:30 PM
The idea for Middle of Nowhere sparked while director and writer Ava DuVernay was working on Michael Mann’s Collateral. In her second narrative feature, DuVernay perceptively tackles the wide-ranging impact of the prisonindustrial complex on black communities. Centering on a woman’s struggle to come to emotional terms with her husband’s incarceration, Middle of Nowhere contemplates the challenges of maintaining a relationship and staying true to oneself. In the starring role as Ruby, Emayatzy Corinealdi was nominated for multiple awards, winning the Gotham Award for Breakthrough Performance. With this film, DuVernay won the Best Director Award at Sundance in 2012 and the John Cassavetes Award at the Independent Spirits in 2013. Director Ava DuVernay is scheduled to be present. (2K DCP. 97 min. Rated R.)
I Will Follow (2011) Directed by Ava DuVernay
September 20 - Friday - 9:30 PM
Ava DuVernay’s highly-acclaimed narrative feature debut, I Will Follow takes place during one day in the life of Maye (Salli Richardson-Whitfield) as she packs up the family home upon her aunt’s death. In this contemplative and lushly-shot drama, Maye encounters objects as well as people from her past, triggering memories and emotions that help her move forward. Roger Ebert called the film, “One of the best films I’ve seen about coming to terms with the death of a loved one.” I Will Follow underscores the beauty of the quotidian, highlighting DuVernay’s take on an innovative art cinema that tells black stories. Director Ava DuVernay is scheduled to be present. (2K DCP. 80 min. Not Rated.)
Orphans Midwest: Materiality and the Moving Image
2013 Film Symposium
Indiana University Cinema and IU Libraries Film Archive host this impressive gathering of scholars, archivists, and media artists, screening dozens of cinema rarities and rediscoveries, as well as new productions, music performances, and curated presentations. “Orphan films” are all manner of neglected cinematic artifacts.
Partnering with the NYU Orphan Film Symposium, IU’s prominent media units join forces to showcase their collections and expertise in the study and preservation of moving images: IU Libraries Film Archive, Department of Communication and Culture’s Film and Media Studies Program, Black Film Center/Archive, The Kinsey Institute, Indiana University Cinema, Lilly Library, and the Media Preservation Initiative.
Off the Rails - Hell Bound Train
Saturday September 28, 2013
11:15am-12:45pm / IU Cinema
Session Leader: Brian Graney (Indiana University)
Participants: Jacqueline Stewart (University of Chicago) Early Black Film Artifacts as Material Evidence: Digital Regeneration and S. Torriano Berry (Howard University) on reconstructing the Gist Film Fragments at the Library of Congress: Hell Bound Train and Verdict Not Guilty (1930-33)
A Change is Gonna Come: Black Revolutionary Poets
This series is sponsored by the Black Film Center/Archive; Film and Media Studies; the Departments of African American & African Diaspora Studies, American Studies, English, Gender Studies, and Germanic Studies; the Kinsey Institute; and IU Cinema. Special thanks to the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs and the National Film Preservation Foundation for their support. The lecture and all screenings take place at IU Cinema. The lecture and screenings are free, but ticketed.
Jorgensen Lecture: Dr. Marion Kraft
Monday - March 18- 3:00 PM
Dr. Marion Kraft, Afro-German scholar and translator, will discuss her role in Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years 1984-1992 and Lorde’s influence on the German Black and Feminist Movements. (70 min.)
Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years 1984-1992 (2012) Directed by Dr. Dagmar Schultz
Monday - March 18- 7:00 PM
Audre Lorde wrote, “I am defined as other in every group I’m part of.” Lorde’s recognition of her own marginalized state deeply influenced her work as a poet and activist. This film chronicles her fight to bring a sense of community--and with it a sense of liberation and freedom--to Afro-German women. Her profound work on racism, classism, homophobia, and xenophobia in Germany during this time period effected incredible change. Through Lorde’s efforts, the understanding held by Afro-Germans of their place in society and political empowerment was forever altered. Director Dr. Dagmar Schultz and Dr. Marion Kraft are scheduled to be present. (DigiBeta presentation, 79 min., Not Rated)
Rainbow Black: Poet Sarah W. Fabio (1976) Directed by Cheryl Fabio
In Motion: Amiri Baraka (1983) Directed by St. Clair Bourne
Monday - April 22- 7:00 PM
Sarah Fabio, Mother of Black Studies, and Amiri Baraka, the most widely published Black writer of his time, have rightfully established themselves as pinnacles of the Black Arts Movement. Unique in their approaches, the documentaries Rainbow Black: Poet Sarah W. Fabio and In Motion: Amiri Baraka take intimate looks at the daily struggles and revelations of these two iconic Black poets working toward “artistic beauty and social justice” in an era of social upheaval.
Rainbow Black: Poet Sarah W. Fabio will premiere for the first time in its newly preserved and restored state. This event is the result of over a year of work between the BFC/A--Cheryl Fabio, the director of Rainbow Black and the daughter of Sarah Fabio--and Colorlab, a renowned film preservation lab. A Preservation Grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation was awarded to the BFC/A in 2012 to fund this preservation project. Director Cheryl Fabio is scheduled to be present. (16mm and DigiBeta presentation, 90 min. total, Not Rated)
New Restorations from Milestone Films
Since 1990, Milestone Films has been involved in the restoration and distribution of groundbreaking, artistically and culturally significant films. Over the course of two days, Milestone Films founder Dennis Doros will present three films: Shirley Clarke's Portrait of Jason and two films by Kathleen Collins, as well as give a lecture. The lecture and all screenings take place at IU Cinema. The lecture and screenings are free, but ticketed.
Lost Films of Kathleen Collins
Thursday - March 21 - 7:00 PM
At the time of her death in 1988, Kathleen Collins was just 46 years old, but already an internationally renowned playwright, a beloved professor and a successful independent filmmaker. After nearly 30 years of being out of circulation, Milestone Films has digitally restored her two films from original camera negatives to look and sound as fresh, bracing and complex as they did when they were made.
The Cruz Brothers and Miss Malloy (1980) is a short story of three Puerto Rican brothers scraping by while contending with the ghost of their dead father.
Losing Ground (1982), one of the very first fictional features by an African-American woman filmmaker, is the story of a black philosophy professor whose artist husband rents a summer country house to celebrate a museum sale. Their idyll summer challenges their relationship as they struggle to find ecstatic experience, both intellectually and emotionally. Dennis Doros is scheduled to be present. (HD Cam presentation, 140 Minutes total, Not Rated)
Jorgensen Lecture: Dennis Doros
Friday - March 22 - 3:00 PM
Dennis Doros will deliver his lecture titled Where’s Shirley: The Restoration of Portrait of Jason, which he presented earlier in the year at the Berlin International Film Festival. (70 min.)
Portrait of Jason (1967) Directed by Shirley Clarke
Friday - March 22 - 6:30 PM
Shirley Clarke’s fascinating character study of self-proclaimed hustler Jason Holliday, evades easy categorization. On the surface, it is a series of 16mm film reels in which the title character provides a vivid verbal account of his life. It is, however, neither straightforward cinema vérité nor traditional documentary. Instead, it lies between a subtle interview, a brilliant monologue, and record of performance that deals head-on with issues of documentary construction. Recently restored by Milestone Films, Portrait of Jason deserves to become a canonical film alongside the work of other luminaries like Andy Warhol and Jonas Mekas. Dennis Doros is scheduled to be present. (HD Cam, 105 min., Not Rated)
Nelson Pereira dos Santos: Fifty Years of Brazilian Cinema
“Over fifty years have passed since Nelson Pereira dos Santos made his first film, yet he continues to work with youthful enthusiasm on new projects,” wrote Darlene Sadlier in her book on Pereira dos Santos for the Contemporary Film Directors series published by University of Illinois Press. “His career is long and diverse” and “his various projects are unified by a leftist political point of view and a desire to make his audience think as well as feel.”
This series is sponsored by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Brazilian Consulate in Chicago, Office of the Vice President of International Affairs, College of Arts and Humanities Institute, Film and Media Studies, Department of Communication and Culture, African Studies, Black Film Center/Archive, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, American Studies, Latino Studies, Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies, Brazilian Association at Indiana University and IU Cinema. Special thanks to the Academia Brasileira de Letras and Darlene Sadlier. This visit is also in partnership with UCLA, Wexner Center for the Arts and City College, New York. All films are in Portuguese language with English subtitles, unless noted and screenings are free, but ticketed. The lecture and all screenings take place at IU Cinema.
Rio, 100 Degrees F. (Rio, 40 Graus) (1956) Directed by Nelson Pereira dos Santos
Sunday - April 14 - 3:00 PM
Inspired by Italian neorealism and a desire to forge a ‘cinema of the people’, Nelson Pereira dos Santos independently produced his story set in a favela of Rio de Janeiro, close to the fashionable tourist sites in and around Copacabana. The camera follows five peanut vendors from a hillside shanty town into tourist areas that include Sugar Loaf Mountain and the famous Maracanã soccer stadium. This film was one of the first in Brazil to address issues of race and social class, and is considered as important to Brazilian cinema as Godard’s Breathless is to French Cinema. The themes explored in this film would be examined throughout Pereira dos Santos’ career. Nelson Pereira dos Santos is scheduled to be present. Portuguese language with English subtitles. (New 35mm print, 100 min. Not Rated.)
Tent of Miracles (Tenda dos Milagres) (1977) Directed by Nelson Pereira dos Santos
Sunday - April 14 - 6:30 PM
In a loose adaptation of Jorge Amado’s best-selling novel of the same name, Pereira dos Santos provides a stunning critique of racism in Brazilian society. When a prominent U.S. Nobel Laureate arrives in Salvador, Bahia, the city with the largest black population in Brazil, he stirs emotions by championing a long-forgotten local writer named Pedro Archanjo, who believed that humanity would be improved only through miscegenation. Like the novel, the film exposes the racial hypocrisy of the Salvador elite, but is a more self-reflexive work that is especially sensitive in its representations of the African religion known as candomblé. Nelson Pereira dos Santos is scheduled to be present. Portuguese language with English subtitles. (New 35mm print, 132 min. Not Rated.)
Jorgensen Lecture: Nelson Pereira dos Santos
Monday - April 15 - 3:00 PM
This lecture will be interview format, led by Professor Darlene Sadlier. (70 min.)
Barren Lives (Vidas Secas) (1963) Directed by Nelson Pereira dos Santos
Monday - April 15 - 7:00 PM
Barren Lives is considered a founding film of the Cinema Novo movement. Derived from Graciliano Ramos’ novel, the film is set in the early 1940s, and describes a year in the life of a poor, uprooted cowhand and his family in the drought-ridden sertão of the Brazilian Northeast. The film is stark in its imagery, powerful in its documentation of the retirante (uprooted), who is dependent on a feudal landowning system. A realistic depiction of the wretched of the earth, Barren Lives is still relevant today; it reads as a white-hot, almost mystically intense pilgrim’s progress through a purgatory that seemingly has no end. Nelson Pereira dos Santos is scheduled to be present. In Portuguese language with English subtitles. (New 35mm print, 103 min. Not Rated.)
Music According to Tom Jobim (A Musica Segundo Tom Jobim) (2011) Directed by Nelson Pereira dos Santos
Tuesday - April 16 - 7:00 PM
The extraordinary musical universe of Antônio Carlos (Tom) Jobim can be presented without dialog or narration. It was with this in mind that Nelson Pereira dos Santos accepted the challenge of committing the musical trajectory of the great Brazilian composer to film. In 1985, Pereira dos Santos produced a four-hour documentary about Jobim for Brazilian television. Based on that experience, he knew the power of Jobim on screen, and that the images of his performances required no words. It’s all there - the power, beauty and poetry of his bossa nova music, the phases of the artist’s career, and the importance of his work to other artists. No need of further explanation, just the pleasure of hearing Tom Jobim! Nelson Pereira dos Santos is scheduled to be present. (2K DCP presentation, 84 min. Not Rated.)
How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman (1971) Directed by Nelson Pereira dos Santos
Sunday - April 21 - 3:00 PM
This delicious black comedy, set in colonial Paraty outside Rio de Janeiro, tells the story of a French adventurer who is captured by members of the Tupinambá tribe and readied for the community’s ritual consumption. The tribe treats their prisoner better than you might think. They give him food and a wife, who happily teaches him the ways of the community. As he plays with his new mate, he considers how to avoid his prescribed fate as the main course of the ceremonial tribal dinner. Originally banned in Brazil due to excessive nudity, the film remains a slyly entertaining masterwork of Brazilian Cinema Novo. In Portuguese language with English subtitles. (35mm print, 84 min. Not Rated.)
Memoirs of Prison (1984) Directed by Nelson Pereira dos Santos
Sunday - April 21 - 6:30 PM
In this adaptation of his posthumous memoir, leftist intellectual Graciliano Ramos recounts his imprisonment in the 1930s by the right-wing regime of Getúlio Vargas. The film is the second adaptation by Pereira dos Santos of a work by Ramos, who also wrote Vidas Secas. Ramos’ portrayal of his imprisonment is minimalist and subdued, as he transforms from ideological theorist (and suspected Communist) to documentarian of his fellow prisoners. The prisoners serve as a metaphor for Brazilian society, and though they do not know what he is writing in the prison, they want to be in his book. Pereira dos Santos uses a straightforward realism to give the film, like the writing of Ramos, the power to document history. In Portuguese language with English subtitles. (35mm., 185 min. Not Rated.)
Living King's Legacy
This series is part of the 2013 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration at Indiana University. Sponsors include the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs, Black Film Center/Archive, Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center and IU Cinema. All screenings take place at IU Cinema. Screenings are free, but ticketed.
I Am Somebody (1970) Directed by Madeline Anderson
Friday - January 18 - 4:00 PM
In 1969, filmmaker Madeline Anderson documented the story of 400 poorly paid black American hospital workers in Charleston, South Carolina who went on strike and demanded a fair wage increase, only to find themselves in a confrontation with the state government and National Guard. Supported by such notable figures as Andrew Young and Coretta Scott King, the women moved forward under the guidance of a New York-based union, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The film will be followed by a lecture from Madeline Anderson. (16mm. 28 min. Not Rated.)
Once Upon a Time...When We Were Colored (1995) Directed by Tim Reid
Saturday - January 19 - 3:00 PM
In a tightly connected black community in Mississippi in the 1940s, people live and depend on each other and roots run deep. One American family must come to terms with the risks it is willing to take to fight racism in the segregated South. The film is an adaptation of Clifton L. Taulbert’s autobiography in which a young Taulbert recounts his life, beginning with his birth in a cotton field in 1946. In the moments before the American civil rights movement, the narrator shares an epic American saga of struggle, strength, and destiny. Special thanks to BET Entertainment. (HD Cam. 115 min. Rated PG.)
Boycott (2001) Directed by Clark Johnson
Saturday - January 19 - 9:30 PM
In 1955, Rosa Parks dared to take an empty seat in the “Whites Only” section on a city bus in Montgomery, AL. Her single act sparked one of the first major battles in the civil rights movement. Naming Dr. King its president, the Montgomery Improvement Association successfully brought the black community together in one of the first major organized, grass-roots battles against segregation and racism in the 1950s. Boycott dramatizes the events of the Montgomery bus boycott, weaving vintage newsreel footage with scenes depicting the public and private dramas involved in the protests. Starring Jeffrey Wright, Terrence Howard, and CCH Pounder. Special thanks to HBO Films. (HD Cam. 118 min. Rated PG.)
Documentary screening: The Road to Brown
Free screening sponsored by the Indiana University Black Law Students Association, the Hudson and Holland Scholars Program, and the Black Film Center/Archive.
The Road to Brown (1990) Directed by William Elwood
Tuesday - January 22 - 7:00 PM
The Road to Brown tells the story of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling as the culmination of a brilliant legal assault on segregation that launched the Civil Rights movement. It is also a moving and long overdue tribute to a visionary but little known black lawyer, Charles Hamilton Houston, "the man who killed Jim Crow." Houston, the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review, dean of Howard University Law School and chief counsel to the NAACP, launched a number of precedent-setting cases leading up to Brown v. Board of Education. He strategically targeted segregated education as the key to undermining the entire Jim Crow system. Interviews with his associates recount how Houston, eschewing the limelight himself, energized a generation of black jurists including future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall to wage the struggle against segregation. He taught: "A lawyer is either a social engineer or he is a parasite on society." (California Newsreel)
2013 Black History Month
A series of free screenings at the Black Film Center/Archive, co-sponsored by the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies, the Department of History, and the Black Law Students Association. All screenings take place at the Black Film Center/Archive, Wells Library, Room 044B, unless otherwise noted.
A. Philip Randolph For Jobs and Freedom (1996) Directed by Dante James
Wednesday - February 6- 7:00 PM
Ask most people who led the 1963 March on Washington and they'll probably tell you Martin Luther King, Jr. But the real force behind the event was the man many call the pre-eminent black labor leader of the century and the father of the modern civil rights movement: A. Philip Randolph.
Randolph believed that economic rights was the key to advancing civil rights. A. Philip Randolph: For Jobs and Freedom takes viewers on a tour of 20th-century civil rights and labor history as it chronicles Randolph's legendary efforts to build a more equitable society.
"Randolph' s socialist ideals, his organizing skills, his toughness, shrewdness and endurance come together in a resounding achievement... A revelation." -New York Times
At The River I Stand (1993) Directed by David Appleby, Allison Graham, and Steven Ross
Wednesday - February 13- 7:00 PM
Introduction by Associate Professor of History Alex Lichtenstein
Memphis, Spring 1968 marked the dramatic climax of the Civil Rights movement. At the River I Stand skillfully reconstructs the two eventful months that transformed a strike by Memphis sanitation workers into a national conflagration, and disentangles the complex historical forces that came together with the inevitability of tragedy at the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This 58-minute documentary brings into sharp relief issues that have only become more urgent in the intervening years: the connection between economic and civil rights, debates over strategies for change, the demand for full inclusion of African Americans in American life and the fight for dignity for public employees and all working people.
"One of the most clearheaded, evenhanded documentaries about the civil rights movement you'll ever see, and a piece of gripping story-telling as well." -Dallas Observer
1994 Erik Barnouw Award Recipient, Best Documentary, Organization of American Historians
The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords (1998) Directed by Stanley Nelson
Wednesday - February 20- 7:00 PM
The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords is the first film to chronicle the history of the black press, including its central role in the construction of modern African American identity. It recounts the largely forgotten stories of generations of black journalists who risked life and livelihood so African Americans could represent themselves in their own words and images.
The Black Press commemorates a heroic and indispensable chapter in the ongoing struggle for a diverse and democratic media. It demonstrates that the written word has been as fundamental as music or religion to the evolution of African American consciousness—and that it is as important today as in the past for black media professionals to play a vigorous role not just in print media but in the rapidly evolving information technologies of the future.
"Retrieves an important missing page from American history and brings it virtually to life. It's beautifully produced and directed and tells a story as only a powerful film can." -Bill Moyers
“Stanley Nelson's stellar documentary masterfully tells the tale of the scribbling pioneers to whom we owe so much and of whom each black writer today is an heir." -Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University
Struggles in Steel (1996) Directed by Ray Henderson and Tony Buba
Wednesday - February 27- 7:00 PM
The current angry debates around affirmative action too often ignore their historical roots: how prior to government intervention African Americans were confined to the most back-breaking, dangerous and low paid work. Struggles in Steel documents the shameful history of discrimination against black workers and one heroic campaign where they won equality on the job.
Black steelworker Ray Henderson and noted independent filmmaker Tony Buba interviewed more than 70 retired black steelworkers who tell heart-rending tales of struggles with the company, the union and white co-workers to break out of the black job ghetto. With Henderson as guide, they retrace a century of black industrial history.
NOTE: A special lunchtime screening of Struggles in Steel will be held on Wednesday, February 6, 12:30 PM, in the Hoosier-Times Student Commons at Ivy Tech Community College - Bloomington.
"An outstanding job!...Provides a vitally important historical foundation for the current debates about race and affirmative action." -Bruce Nelson, Dartmouth College
The Shared Ethnography of Jean Rouch
Jean Rouch’s breakthrough work in cinéma vérité helped inspire the Direct Cinema movement in the U.S. and the New Wave in France, where he was a key figure in the Cinémathèque Française. His long career was intertwined with the transforming world of West Africa, characterized by innovations such as “shared anthropology” and “ethno-fiction,” embracing the daily life and imagination of a new generation of Africans. He developed an entirely new kind of documentary film practice that blurred the boundaries between fiction and reality. Special thanks to Livia Bloom and Icarus Films.
All screenings are at the IU Cinema and are free, but ticketed. In addition to the BFCA, this event is sponsored by the Department of Communication and Culture, Film and Media Studies, Departments of Anthropology, History, African Studies, French and Italian, and the IU Cinema.
The Mad Masters (1955)
In the most controversial film by Jean Rouch, the bustling city of Accra sets the stage for a collision between traditional and modern. From Accra, we travel to a ceremony where music swells as participants are possessed - sleepwalking, speaking in tongues, and eventually collapsing to the ground. Using a hand-held camera and quick cuts, Rouch creates an effect he later called “ciné-trance”. After the ceremony, it’s back to daily life in Accra as laborers, low-ranking soldiers, or pickpockets. Rouch suggests that the ritual serves as a psychological release from the dehumanizing powers of colonization. The screening of Moi, Un Noir will immediately follow. (DigiBeta presentation, 28 min. Not Rated.)
Moi, Un Noir (1958)
Moi, Un Noir marked Jean Rouch’s break with traditional ethnography, and his embrace of the collaborative and improvisatory strategies he called “shared ethnography”. The film depicts an ordinary week in the lives of men and women from Niger who have migrated to Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire for work. Narration is provided by one of its subjects, whose freewheeling commentary describes the bitter reality of life there, while leaving room for his richly detailed inner life. The film’s stylistic innovations had a profound influence on the French New Wave, and Jean-Luc Godard commented that it “…is, in effect, the most daring of films and the humblest.” Immediately follows the screening of The Mad Masters. (DigiBeta presentation, 72 min. Not Rated.)
One of Jean Rouch’s classic ethnofictions, Jaguar follows three young Songhay men from Niger, and the legendary performer Damouré Zika on a journey to the Gold Coast. Drawing from his own fieldwork on intra-African migration, Rouch collaborated with his three subjects on an improvisational narrative. The four filmed the trip in mid-1950s, and reunited a few years later to record the sound, the participants remembering dialogue and making up commentary as they went. The result is a playful film that finds three African men performing an ethnography of their own culture. (DigiBeta presentation, 89 min. Not Rated.)
Mammy Water (1956)
On the coast of Ghana, in the shadows of the Portuguese slave forts, lies the Gulf of Guinea. This sea is home to the “surf boys”, teams of expert fisherman who paddle into the ocean in large canoes, sometimes staying at sea for one or even two nights. Their success is governed by water spirits (‘Mammy Water’). Villagers must honor the spirits with a ceremony if they wish to ensure their fortunes. More strictly observational than most of Rouch’s films, it takes an intimate look at the spiritual traditions and the wider life of a West African fishing village. The screening of The Lion Hunters will immediately follow. (DigiBeta presentation, 18 min. Not Rated.)
The Lion Hunters (1965)
Shot on the border between Niger and Mali over a period of seven years, The Lion Hunters is Jean Rouch’s documentation of the lion hunt performed by the bow hunters of the Songhay people. Rouch said that he made the film “to try to give the audience a feeling of what I myself felt as I was learning the way of the lion hunt”. The film portrays the immediacy of the hunt, but it also explores the complex social organization that underlies it, and the difficult questions entailed by its representation. Immediately follows the screening of Mammy Water. (DigiBeta presentation, 77 min. Not Rated.)
Claire Denis: Confronting the Other
Claire Denis is one of the greatest filmmakers working in the cinema today - period. Her films are visually stunning, technically accomplished and thematically complex. And, in the words of Andrew Hussey of The Observer, she is “fearless”. Her solidarity with the disenfranchised and her sometimes frightening intelligence leads to incisive critiques of the way the personal and political become intertwined, but ultimately invites us to determine what lines are being crossed.
In celebration of her career, the Black Film Center/Archive presents an exhibit at the Herman G. Wells Library, Room 044. Comprising ten original French-release posters for the films of Claire Denis, this exhibit foregrounds the organizing thematics of this umcompromising and principled filmmaker, without equal in her interrogation of the Other. Each of these posters references a film and has its own story to narrate. Each is a constituent of the films' promotional and exhibition histories. And each reflexively questions itself as it depicts the film it claims to represent.
Filming Work: Working Films
Since the birth of the medium, filmmakers have made the struggles of ordinary people for workplace justice a central theme in the cinema. From the early films of Eisenstein to the contemporary work of John Sayles and Ken Loach, work and workers have captured the visual imagination of moviegoers. These films offer historical and contemporary depictions of struggles among the working class. The series is sponsored by Bloomington Jobs with Justice, IU Labor Studies Program, Latino Studies, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Cultural Studies Program, Department of History, Black Film Center/Archive, and IU Cinema. Special thanks to Alex Lichtenstein. All screenings take place at IU Cinema.
The Killing Floor (1985) Directed by Bill Duke
The Killing Floor explores the conflicting loyalties of African-American stockyards workers in Chicago during the First World War. Starring Damon Leake and Moses Gunn, the story pits a black worker who joins an interracial union against his rival who believes that blacks must look after themselves. Based on impeccable historical research into the lives of actual stockyard workers, this powerful docudrama won the Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Award and was invited to Cannes. (16mm. 118 min. Rated PG.)
Bread and Roses (2000) Directed by Ken Loach
Starring Adrien Brody (The Pianist) as a union organizer and Pilar Padilla as an undocumented worker, Bread and Roses brings Loach’s customary sympathetic portrayal of working people to the story of the immigrants who clean the office towers of Los Angeles. Loach’s gritty, amusing, and spirited fictional film documents the real life organizing drive of “Justice for Janitors,” a key moment in the rebirth of American unions among service workers and the newest generation of immigrants. (35mm. 110 min. Rated R.)