The Gene Siskel Film Center presents programming in the spirit of the Black Harvest Film Festival all year long!
Agents of Change
2014, Frank Dawson and Abby Ginzberg, USA, 66 min.
“The film’s characters were caught at the crossroads of the civil rights, black power, and anti-Vietnam war movements at a pivotal time in America’s history.” — Sojourner Truth Radio
The little-known story of the late-Sixties grassroots struggle that led to the creation of departments of black and ethnic studies at American colleges and universities is told in this documentary focusing on the seminal student revolts at San Francisco State and Cornell. Black students recruited by institutions of higher learning in unprecedented numbers soon found their history and culture reflected nowhere on all-white campuses. Protests and sit-ins evolved into violent armed revolution that startled the nation with images of black students with guns. Filmmakers Dawson and Ginzberg combine the first-person recollections of those who were there with powerful archival footage and photographs for a compelling evocation of history. Winner of Jury and Audience awards at the 2016 Pan-African Film Festival. DCP digital. (BS)
Do Not Resist
2016, Craig Atkinson, USA, 72 min.
“An eye-opening experience.” — Dexter Filkins, New Yorker
“Haunting…I had to force myself to exhale.” — Radley Balko, Washington Post
This Tribeca Film Festival award-winner by the cinematographer of the acclaimed hit DETROPIA, himself the son of a retired SWAT team member, takes a revealing look at the militarization of American police departments, a government-funded, post-9/11 initiative that put armored vehicles, assault rifles, grenade launchers, and bayonets in the hands of cops across the nation in the name of a vaguely conceived war on terror. From violence-torn Ferguson to the sleepy streets of suburbs and small towns, the machinery of war is employed against citizen protests and in the course of smalltime drug busts, with police acting as modern-day storm troopers. Director Atkinson goes behind the scenes in Senate hearings, law enforcement training seminars, community hearings, and shocking street maneuvers for a hard-hitting probe of the phenomenon. DCP digital. (BS)