The Gene Siskel Film Center presents programming in the spirit of the Black Harvest Film Festival all year long!
Daughters of the Dust
1991, Julie Dash, USA/UK, 112 min. With Alva Rogers, Bahni Turpin.
“A film of spellbinding visual beauty…an extended, wildly lyrical meditation on the power of African cultural iconography and the spiritual resilience of the generations of women who have been its custodians.” — Stephen Holden, The New York Times
“Distinctive, original…every image, every moment is a full creation…Dash is one of the heroines of the modern cinema.” — Richard Brody, New Yorker
A film of breathtaking beauty and haunting cultural resonance, this landmark independent film by the first African American woman to ever receive theatrical distribution in the U.S. returns in a fully remastered restoration on the 25th anniversary of its release. On a summer day in 1902, a large African American family descended from slaves gathers for one last picnic in their Sea Island home on the eve of their move North. The knowledge and mystical traditions of the clan’s West African heritage are manifest in the women of the family, from the matriarch Nana to the unborn baby girl in her granddaughter’s womb, as the family confronts the conflicts and challenges of a new century. In English and Gullah dialect with English subtitles. DCP digital. (BS)
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)