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Blacklight International Film Festival

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The eleventh edition of the annual festival of black independent film runs from Friday, July 31, through Sunday, August 9 at the Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, and at Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton. Tickets are $5, with discounts available to Blacklight and Film Center members. For more information call 443-3737 or 281-4114

FRIDAY, JULY 31

BLACK CANADIAN FILMMAKERS Three shorts from Toronto's Black Film & Video Network. The first two, by Christene Browne, have musical subjects: a blues singer (Jodie Drake: Blues in My Bread) and jazz musicians John T. Davis and Jim Heineman (Brothers in Music). Roger McTair's Jennifer Hodge: The Glory and the Pain, the only one of the three I've seen, is a tantalizing but frustrating memorial to a black woman filmmaker who died of cancer in her late 30s. Her multicultural films clearly mean a great deal to the people who discuss them here, but the brief clips don't give a satisfactory sense of her achievement; unfortunately none of her films are included in this program. (Film Center, 6:00)

STEPPING RAZOR--RED X A documentary feature from Canada by Nicholas Campbell about the life and violent death (in 1987) of reggae artist and radical Jamaican political activist Peter Tosh. (Film Center, 8:30)

SATURDAY, AUGUST 1

GOD'S WILL A French-Guinean production by David Achkar that reconstructs the life and death of the filmmaker's father, a political prisoner (1991). On the same program, David Masey's short film Last Breeze of Summer, recently nominated for an Oscar, about a 12-year-old girl who was selected to integrate an all-white school in 1959. (Film Center, 3:30)

LET'S GET BIZZEE An independent feature by Carl Clay about a young rap artist and his friends who want to block a gentrification project that will destroy their housing project. With Doug E. Fresh, Anthony Chisholm, and Lisa Carson (1991). (Film Center, 6:00)

HOW U LIKE ME NOW This Chicago-made feature by Darryl Roberts stars All My Children's Darnell Williams and Salli Richardson in a comic ensemble piece about male-female relationships. Daniel Gardner, Debra Crable, and Charnele Brown costar; Michael Goi is the cinematographer; and Kahil El'Zabar composed the score. Roberts and several members of the cast and crew will be present for a discussion. (Film Center, 8:30)

SUNDAY, AUGUST 2

THIS LAND IS OURS Saddik Balewa's Nigerian feature, coproduced by London's National Film and Television School, focuses on religious, political, and property conflicts in a small village (1991). (Film Center, 2:00)

ZEBRAHEAD A feature by Anthony Drazon about a racially mixed group of teenagers, including a Jewish boy immersed in black music. With Ray Sharkey, Michael Rapaport, N'Bushe Wright, and Deshonn Castle; the score is by Taj Mahal. On the same program , White Boys Can't Dance, a comic short by Liz Hinlein (1991). (Film Center, 4:30)

A CHILD FROM THE SOUTH A woman who has been living in Europe for 20 years returns to her home in Mozambique, where a civil war is raging, to report on a United Nations conference, then rediscovers her roots and falls in love; a coproduction from Mozambique and Great Britain by Sergio Rezende (1991). (Film Center, 7:00)

MONDAY, AUGUST 3

NOT CHANNEL ZERO VIDEOS I Three shorts produced by Not Channel Zero, an alternative media news and cultural show: NCZ Goes to War, which interviews people of color and antiwar activists about the gulf war; Black Women, Sexual Politics and the Revolution; and South African Women Artists Speak. (Facets Multimedia Center, 7:00)

MYSTERIES OF JULY A documentary about the subject of deaths in British custody, produced for Britain's Channel Four and directed by Reece Auguiste (1991). On the same program, Frontlines, a video short by Donyale Nao about the participation of blacks in the gulf war, based on letters they sent home. (Facets Multimedia Center, 9:00)

TUESDAY, AUGUST 4

NOT CHANNEL ZERO VIDEOS II Two videos: The Summer of 91, which focuses on controversial events of that summer; and Gays and Lesbians in the Black Community, which examines racism and homophobia. (Facets Multimedia Center, 7:00)

VIDEO DOCUMENTARIES John Akomfrah's A Touch of Tar Brush (1991) is a 40-minute BBC documentary about social interactions between the races in Liverpool. Glace Lawrence's The Color of Immunity (1990) is a 22-minute documentary about the impact of the AIDS epidemic on black communities. (Facets Multimedia Center, 9:00)

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 5

AS I REMEMBER IT Salem Mekuria's 1991 film about an African American woman writer at the turn of the century. To be shown on video. (Facets Multimedia Center, 7:00)

NEW BLACK MUSIC VIDEOS New music videos by black directors and producers from Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. (Facets Multimedia Center, 8:30)

THURSDAY, AUGUST 6

RIGHT ON! THE ORIGINAL LAST POETS See Critic's Choice. (Facets Multimedia Center, 7:00 and 9:00)

BLACK TO THE PROMISED LAND A fascinating documentary by Madeleine Ali, an American black woman who has converted to Judaism, about a group of black teenagers from a high school for "problem kids" in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant who spent ten weeks living and working on an Israeli kibbutz. Ali carefully and, to all appearances, quite objectively chronicles the entire experience, from anticipation in Brooklyn to initial alienation and frustration at the kibbutz to passionate commitment to disappointment about leaving. Branford Marsalis provides an effective jazz score. (Film Center, 6:00)

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