The Gene Siskel Film Center presents programming in the spirit of the Black Harvest Film Festival all year long!
Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa
2014, Abby Ginzberg, South Africa/USA, 84 min. Narrated by Alfre Woodard.
Award-winning documentary director Ginzberg chronicles the severe price paid by those who risked their lives in the fight against apartheid in South Africa, through this profile of activist Albie Sachs. An anti-apartheid lawyer, Sachs endured torture and imprisonment with solitary confinement in the course of the struggle for racial justice, even losing an arm and an eye as the result of a car bomb. Working with Nelson Mandela, he helped write South Africa’s new constitution and was named to the nation’s new Constitutional Court. DCP digital. (BS)
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
2015, Stanley Nelson, USA, 116 min.
"Dense, comprehensive, yet brisk and vital... It’s superb filmmaking with a sure sense of its subject." – Ray Pride, Newcity
“Nelson enthusiastically conjures a sense of what it felt like to be a Panther and to be a young black person inspired by them” — John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter
“We had a swagger,” recalls a former member of the most confrontational and controversial political organization of its era. Founded in Oakland in 1966 in response to police harassment, the Panthers openly carried weapons, dressed sharply in black berets and leather jackets, implemented important social initiatives such as the Free Breakfast for School Children program, and boasted a majority of women members. Using rare footage unadulterated by the mainstream media and candid interviews culled from all sides of the struggle, celebrated documentarian Nelson (JONESTOWN, FREEDOM SUMMER) makes the first film to cover the Panthers’ whole story, from their heady beginnings to their downfall from internal dissension and FBI subversion. DCP digital. (MR)