The Gene Siskel Film Center presents programming in the spirit of the Black Harvest Film Festival all year long!
2016, Margaret Byrne, USA, 102 min.
“Astounding and powerful.” — Bryn Gelbart, Indiewire
“Resonates powerfully with contemporary issues of racial inequality, educational opportunities and the Black Lives Matter movement.” — Glenn McDonald, News Observer
Six years in the making, this coming-of-age portrait of three young African American men in North Carolina’s rural Bertie County takes Reginald “Junior” Askew, David “Bud” Perry, and Davonte “Dada” Harrell from boyhood to manhood as their alternative school The Hive closes, opportunities diminish, and the three face challenges that variously include an incarcerated dad, broken homes, courtship and love, and early fatherhood. Produced by Chicago’s own internationally acclaimed Kartemquin Films (HOOP DREAMS, THE INTERRUPTERS), RAISING BERTIE movingly interconnects narratives of family, youthful innocence, struggles with systemic racism, poverty and unemployment, and the will to succeed in the face of formidable odds. DCP digital. (BS)
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)