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Blacklight Film Festival

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The eighth edition of the annual festival of black independent film continues through Thursday, August 17, at the Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, 443-3737; at Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton, 281-4114; and at the Music Box, 3733 N. Southport, 871-6604. Tickets are $5, $3 for Blacklight members; admission to the Music Box screenings will be $6. For more information call 509-2981.

THE GAME A first feature by Curtis Brown, this is a political thriller with a very timely theme: a mayoral campaign in New York City that a black candidate has a good chance of winning. The action is set in the camp of a rival white candidate who hires a black executive as his campaign manager; the executive is a master chess player who views the campaign as a kind of chess game. His hidden agenda is the focus of the plot. A Chicago premiere. (Film Center, Saturday, August 5, 6:00, and Sunday, August 6, 4:00)

LENNY: LIVE AND UNLEASHED A documentary from Great Britain by Andy Harries that features a performance by the popular young British comethan Lenny Henry, whose stand-up routines portray black experience in Britain through a number of characters he has invented. (Film Center, Saturday, August 5, 10:00)

LEOLA See Critic's Choice. (Film Center, Saturday, August 5, 8:00, and Sunday, August 6, 6:00)

MAPANTSULA Shot in Johannesburg and Soweto by Oliver Schmitz, a white South African, and cowritten by its costar Thomas Mogotlane, this radical feature offers a grittier view of the antiapartheid movement than either Cry Freedom or A World Apart. The plot follows the gradual coming to political awareness of a petty thief (Mogotlane) who winds up in jail and meets other blacks involved in protesting racism; the dialogue is a heady mixture of subtitled Afrikaans and English. Banned in South Africa, this film conveys a volatile sense of both time and place, and, according to the South African censor, "has the power to incite probable viewers to act violently." (Facets Multimedia Center, Friday and Saturday, August 4 and 5, 7:00 and 9:00; Sunday, August 6, 5:30 and 7:30; and Monday through Thursday, August 7 through 10, 7:00 and 9:00)

OMEGA RISING A short documentary feature from Great Britain by D. Elmina Davis about the women of the Rastafarian movement in England as well as Jamaica. On the same program, Mwe Bana Bandi, a Finnish musical documentary by Kristina Tuura about the songs and dances of children; and Coffee Coloured Children and Best Wishes, two British shorts by Ngozi Onwura (both 1988). Davis will be present at the screening. (Film Center, Friday, August 4, 6:00)

RISING TONES CROSS A documentary about free jazz, set in New York and made by West German filmmaker Ebba Jahn. The main focus is on tenor saxophonist Charles Gayle and German bassist Peter Kowald; Billy Bang, Charles Tyler, and Don Cherry are also featured. (Film Center, Saturday, August 5, 4:00)

TIME AND JUDGEMENT A new feature from Great Britain by Menelik Shabazz (Burning an Illusion), who comes from London's Ceddo Film Workshop. This is a polemical chronicle of the contemporary black struggle from the Rastafarian viewpoint. (Film Center, Friday and Sunday, August 4 and 6, 8:00)

VOICES OF SARAFINA A documentary about the long-running Broadway musical Sarafina, featuring a cast of South African children and exiled singer and activist Miriam Makeba. The film intercuts between scenes from the musical and some of the stories that the cast members have to tell about South Africa. Directed by Nigel Nobel (1988). (Music Box, Sunday, August 6, 2:15, 4:00, 5:45, 7:30, 9:15, and Monday and Tuesday, August 7 and 8, 5:45, 7:30, and 9:15)

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