The Gene Siskel Film Center presents programming in the spirit of the Black Harvest Film Festival all year long!
2014, Pedro Costa, Portugal, 104 min. With Ventura, Vitalina Varela.
"A visual album of souls, lost and found" – Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"As gorgeous and impenetrable as a dream." – Matt Zoeller Seitz, RogerEbert.com
"The puzzle-box narrative only grows more hypnotic with repeat viewings. The movie insists on having the audience, like Ventura, pass through madness to reach catharsis." – Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times
Ventura, the gaunt, grizzled Cape Verdean immigrant who has served as director Pedro Costa’s muse and central character in films including COLOSSAL YOUTH, returns in an even more commanding role in HORSE MONEY. Mysteriously at death’s door, Ventura takes an eerie journey through dark episodes in his own life as they coalesce with Portugal’s troubling colonial past. Former lovers, friends, and work mates may be illusions as the powerful puzzle comes together in bewitching chiaroscuro imagery. In Cape Verdean, Creole, and Portuguese with English subtitles. DCP digital. (BS)
My Friend Victoria
Mon amie Victoria
2014, Jean-Paul Civeyrac, France, 95 min. With Guslagie Malanga, Nadia Moussa.
"Poignant and so beautiful … mixes poetic grace with detachment." – Jonathan Romney, Film Comment
"Remarkable … a subtle and well-observed critique on class, identity and race in Paris.” – Wendy Okoi-Obuli, Indiewire
As adapted by director Civeyrac (THROUGH THE TREES, YOUNG GIRLS IN BLACK), the Doris Lessing story “Victoria and the Staveneys” is relocated from London to Paris. The life of Victoria (Malanga), a young African French woman, is permanently altered by a brief childhood encounter with the affluent white family that once hosted her overnight in an emergency. The fairytale dreams of the dazzled working-class orphan become the obsession of the beautiful but adrift adult Victoria, whose limited ambitions are seemingly fulfilled by secretly bearing a child who will bond her to the family forever. The hazy dream becomes a deal with the devil when presumed equality proves to be the most delusional fantasy of all. In French with English subtitles. DCP digital widescreen. (BS)