by J.R. Jones
Former New York Times film critic Elvis Mitchell will appear at the Gene Siskel Film Center on Tuesday, August 5, to talk about Timothy Greenfield-Sanders's HBO documentary The Black List, Vol. 1. Scheduled for broadcast later this year, the film features Mitchell interviewing such African-American cultural figures as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Sean Combs, Bill T. Jones, Vernon Jordan, Toni Morrison, Chris Rock, and Keenen Ivory Wayans.
The event is part of the Film Center's month-long Black Harvest International Festival of Film and Video, whose 14th edition begins on the first of August. Among this year's documentaries are Rachel Goslins's 'Bama Girl (8/8, 8/12), about the first black homecoming queen at the University of Alabama; Dawn Logsdon's Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans (8/23, 8/25), which looks at the eponymous neighborhood just outside the French Quarter; Robert Patton-Spruill's Public Enemy: Welcome to the Terrordome (8/8, 8/13), a profile of Chuck D and company; and Tia Lessin and Carl Deal's Trouble the Water (8/6), about a woman in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Fiction films screening this year include work by Josiah Kibira, Dennis Dortch, Andrew P. Jones, Ilya Chaiken, and James Spooner, whose documentary Afro-Punk screened at the festival in 2003. Black Harvest has typically showcased talents from Chicago and the midwest; among the area filmmakers in this year's festival are Michael Merrill, David Muhammad, Deri Tyton, David Wethersby, Christopher Nolen, and Sidney "Mama" Winters. From neighboring Gary, Mark Spencer will present two features, The Ballad of Sadie Hawkins (8/10, 8/12) and The Gilded Six-Bits (8/24, 8/27).