The Gene Siskel Film Center presents programming in the spirit of the Black Harvest Film Festival all year long!
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)
70 Acres in Chicago: Cabrini Green
2015, Ronit Bezalel, USA, 56 min.
"Every Chicagoan should see this documentary." – J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
THE SUNDAY JANUARY 31 SCREENING IS 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 by 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)
ALSO PLAYING: Bezalel’s acclaimed 1999 film VOICES OF CABRINI (33 min.)