The Gene Siskel Film Center presents programming in the spirit of the Black Harvest Film Festival all year long!
70 Acres in Chicago: Cabrini Green
2015, Ronit Bezalel, USA, 56 min.
"Every Chicagoan should see this documentary." – J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
THE SUNDAY JANUARY 31 SCREENING IS SOLD OUT!
The filmmakers call it “Chicago’s most hotly contested 70 acres of land.” With its prime central location, Cabrini Green was hailed as a public housing triumph and demonized as an urban disaster. Beginning in 1995, it was demolished, bit by bit, then repackaged as a “mixed income” development, where, unsurprisingly, the former, largely black residents have been marginalized or driven away. Bezalel, who first covered the subject in her celebrated 1999 short VOICES OF CABRINI, spent fifteen years on this eye-opening follow-up, which uses personal stories, expert commentary, and informative history to celebrate the spirit of a unique community and to mourn its betrayal and destruction. DCP digital. (MR)
ALSO PLAYING: Bezalel’s acclaimed 1999 film VOICES OF CABRINI (33 min.)
2014, Zeresenay Mehari, Ethiopia/USA, 99 min. With Meron Getnet, Tizita Hagere.
"Compelling … authentic and affecting … a dramatic yet nuanced window into a culture we almost never see." – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"An important story told with commitment.” – Trevor Johnston, Time Out London
Fourteen year-old Hirut is kidnapped and raped on her way home from school, a brutal event considered an accepted prelude to a marriage proposal in rural Ethiopia. When she momentarily gains control of her attacker’s gun and kills him, the authorities in this male-dominated, tradition-bound society demand her execution. Executive-produced by Angelina Jolie and Black Harvest filmmaker Lacey Schwartz (LITTLE WHITE LIE),, DIFRET dramatically reenacts a true story, as one woman, a lawyer, comes forward to aggressively protect and defend the girl in the face of the reality that no Ethiopian woman has ever been exonerated for killing a man in self defense. In Amharic with English subtitles. DCP digital. (BS)