The Gene Siskel Film Center presents programming in the spirit of the Black Harvest Film Festival all year long!
Purge This Land
2017, Lee Anne Schmidt, USA, 80 min.
- Thu, Mar 1st 6:00pm
Just before his execution, white abolitionist John Brown wrote, “I am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood.” In her new film, PURGE THIS LAND, L.A.-based filmmaker Lee Anne Schmitt uses Brown’s legacy to consider the long shadows of slavery and systemic, violent racism on the US’s psychic and physical landscape. She interweaves shots of rural back roads and urban centers throughout the country, memorializing the sites of Brown’s radicalization alongside those of race riots, police shootings, and other forms of white racial violence and black disenfranchisement over the last 150 years. Set to a score referencing the histories of black music by Jeff Parker, the film resists easy resolution, modeling resistance instead. DCP digital. (Amy Beste)
The Murder of Fred Hampton
1971, Howard Alk, USA, 88 min.
- Sat, Oct 21st 3:30pm
- Wed, Oct 25th 7:45pm
"It’s the rare film that decades later can seem as timely as it was the day it came out. The searing documentary THE MURDER OF FRED HAMPTON is such a film." — Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
A compelling mixture of impassioned activism and lucid investigative reporting, this still-relevant documentary began as a portrait of Fred Hampton, the charismatic leader of the then-thriving Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party. The first half of the film depicts the Panthers' incendiary rhetoric and altruistic community programs, but the agenda changes when Hampton is killed in a police raid. While local media are parroting dubious official claims of self-defense, director Alk and his crew rush to the still blood-soaked crime scene, recording crucial evidence that points to a cold-blooded assassination. Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by the National Film Preservation Foundation and The Packard Humanities Institute. Courtesy of Carol Gray, William Cottle and Chicago Film Archives. 35mm.
Preceded by THE JUNGLE (1967, Charlie “Brown” Davis, Jimmy “Country” Robinson, and David “Bat” Williams, USA, 22 min.), a depiction of Northern Philadelphia street life made by inner-city high-school students. Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by the National Film Preservation Foundation. 35mm. (MR)