Black Harvest International Festival of Film and Video | Festival | Chicago Reader

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Black Harvest International Festival of Film and Video

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Black Harvest International Festival of Film and Video

This festival of films and videos by black artists from around the world continues Friday through Tuesday, August 10 through 14, at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State. Tickets are $8, $4 for film center members, and $3 for SAIC students. For further information, call 312-846-2800.


The Emperor Jones

Paul Robeson gives one of his greatest film performances in this arty, dated, but interesting 1933 adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's play about a former Pullman porter who escapes from a chain gang to become king of a Caribbean island. The underrated Dudley Murphy directed; with Dudley Digges, Frank Wilson, and Fredi Washington. 72 min. (JR) A 35-millimeter print will be shown. (6:00)


Compared to Girlfight, a film it closely resembles, this feature about a young woman boxer overcoming her opponent in the ring and her father's objections at home is tame, predictable, and ingratiatingly upbeat. Senait Ashenafi (of daytime TV's General Hospital) plays the protagonist, an upper-middle-class brat who, for no discernible reason, decides to take up boxing; in place of a dramatic arc, screenwriter Roderick Powell serves up a series of contrived obstacles (philandering boyfriend, lesbian overtures) and extraneous scenes (a promoter trying to recruit some showgirls for the ring, presumably included for connoisseurs of butt grinding). Pierre Perea, as the Latino trainer who falls for the boxer, is the only actor not sleepwalking through his part. Melvin James directed; with James Avery and Corinne Van Ryck. 90 min. (TS) James will attend the screening; to be shown by video projection. (8:00)


Life and Death

Three short works: Joseph Sguera's 12-minute film Closure (2000), Azeem Robinson's 28-minute film Guilty or Not, and Raymond A. Thomas's 34-minute video 12 Minutes. Thomas will attend the screening. (3:45)


See listing for Friday, August 10. Director Melvin James will attend the screening. (5:45)


See Critic's Choice. (8:00)



See Critic's Choice. (3:30)


The Emperor Jones

See listing for Friday, August 10. (6:00)

Life and Death

See listing for Saturday, August 11. Video maker Raymond A. Thomas will attend the screening. (8:00)

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