The Gene Siskel Film Center presents programming in the spirit of the Black Harvest Film Festival all year long!
70 Acres in Chicago: Cabrini Green
2015, Ronit Bezalel, USA, ca. 70 min.
"Every Chicagoan should see this documentary." – J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
The Wednesday, November 18 and Thursday, November 19 showings are now SOLD OUT!
The filmmakers call it “Chicago’s most hotly contested 70 acres of land.” With its prime central location, Cabrini Green was hailed as a public housing triumph and demonized as an urban disaster. Beginning in 1995, it was demolished, bit and bit, then repackaged as a “mixed income” development, where, unsurprisingly, the former, largely black residents have been marginalized or driven away. Bezalel, who first covered the subject in her celebrated 1999 short VOICES OF CABRINI, spent fifteen years on this eye-opening follow-up, which uses personal stories, expert commentary, and informative history to celebrate the spirit of a unique community and to mourn its betrayal and destruction. DCP digital. (MR)
Welcome to Leith
2015, Michael Beach Nichols and Christopher K. Walker, USA, 86 min.
"A gripping you-are-there portrait of a community under siege…as engrossing as a fictional thriller." – Dennis Harvey, Variety
"A stunning portrait of First Amendment rights pushed to their extremes." – Eric Kohn, Indiewire
First Amendment rights go head-to-head with hate-group schemes in the tiny North Dakota ghost town of Leith, when its population of 24 is boosted in 2012 by a new resident. He is Craig Cobb, a notorious white supremacist, who buys up property and announces plans to establish majority control of the town for his racially pure neo-Nazi mecca. Filmmakers Beach and Walker (FLEX IS KINGS) earn the trust of both sides for a disturbing immersion into a low-down, dirty-trick-filled fight between horrified longtime locals and the technically law-abiding newcomers. DCP digital. (BS)