The Gene Siskel Film Center presents programming in the spirit of the Black Harvest Film Festival all year long!
2017, José María Cabral, Dominican Republic, 107 min. With Jean Jean, Judith Rodriguez Perez.
“Exhilarating…it’s enough to give you butterflies in your stomach.” — John Fink, The Film Stage
“High octane, bruising…an authentic, distinctive and watchable blend of the tough and the tender.” — Jonathan Holland, Hollywood Reporter
A violently jealous love triangle festers, and an affair takes wings within the walls of a high-security prison in this startlingly original romantic drama-thriller. Newly arrived prisoner Julián (Jean Jean) quickly learns the survival skills of bribery and intimidation from top-dog Manaury (Ramón Emilio Candelario). When Manaury is transferred, Julián is entrusted with messaging his girlfriend at the adjacent women’s prison by way of “pecking,” a system of hand signals the men use to communicate to women from windows. Redheaded spitfire Yanelly (Rodriguez) rejects the messages but falls for the messenger from afar, initiating a courtship of subterfuge and smuggled love tokens that will ultimately touch off a prison riot. In Spanish with English subtitles. DCP digital. (BS)
Killer Of Sheep
1978, Charles Burnett, USA, 93 min. With Harry Sanders, Kaycee Moore.
"An American masterpiece, independent to the bone." — Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
Charles Burnett's first feature is a landmark of African American cinema. Unreleased for several years, it gradually attained classic status, winning top awards at the 1981 Berlin and Sundance Film Festivals and being chosen as one of the first twenty-five selections in the National Film Registry of culturally and artistically significant films. Filmed in beautifully gritty 16mm black-and-white with unflinching and richly detailed realism, KILLER OF SHEEP details the daily life of a Watts slaughterhouse worker and his struggle to sustain his emotional and family life in the face of grinding poverty. 2K DCP digital restoration from Milestone Film & Video. (MR)