The Gene Siskel Film Center presents programming in the spirit of the Black Harvest Film Festival all year long!
Thomasine & Bushrod
1974, Gordon Parks Jr., USA, 95 min. With Max Julien, Vonetta McGee.
"Negroes don't do that. Negroes sing and dance and steal chickens. They don't rob banks." So says an astonished white bystander in this nearly forgotten memento of the outlaw spirit that infiltrated American cinema in the post-BONNIE AND CLYDE era. Actor-writer Julien (THE MACK) and director Parks (SUPER FLY) brought a blaxploitation background to this revisionist western that upsets racial and gender stereotypes as well as genre conventions. Automobiles replace horses in 1911 Texas, where bounty hunter Thomasine (McGee) and outlaw Bushrod (Julien) join forces to pull off a series of daring bank robberies while eluding the rabidly vengeful Sheriff Bogardie (George Murdock). Glynn Turman's colorful turn as a jive-talking Jamaican gunslinger adds to the film's freewheeling pastiche of genres and eras. 35mm archival print. (MR)
Daughters of the Dust
1991, Julie Dash, USA, 112 min. With Alva Rogers, Bahni Turpin.
"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 work of breathtaking beauty and haunting cultural resonance, this landmark independent production was the first film by an African American woman to receive theatrical distribution in the U.S. 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)