The fifth and sixth screenings of the ongoing L.A. Rebellion touring film series currently in Chicago, which have been, so far, a hugely success, takes place this Thursday
May 16 and Saturday May 18th with two short films program, which will include
several long unseen major works.
On Thursday, the program of four short films will deal
with black youth “as they struggle against the many restrictions placed on their life
possibilities, from being railroaded into the military and dead-end jobs, to
facing racism at school, to navigating the conflicting expectations of friends
The four films that will be screened are Rich (S. Torriano Berry, 1982); Shipley Street
(Jacqueline Frazier, 1981); Fragrance (Gay Abel-Bey, 1991); and Your Children
Come Back to You (Alile Sharon Larkin, 1979).
Then on Saturday (to be hosted by yours truly), four social and politically minded films will
be shown which “portray how gentrification in Washington, DC, Jim Crow segregation in
Houston and the pursuit of personal and political empowerment…shape the fates
of Black people in individual and collective ways.”
And the films to be shown on that day will include Brick by Brick (Shirikiana Aina, 1982); The Dawn At My Back: Memoir of a Black Texas
Upbringing (Carroll Parrott Blue and
Kristy H.A. Kang, 2003); and Rain (Melvonna Ballenger, 1978).
But also on Saturday’s program another important film of notice
which will be screened is Haile Gerima’s short, Child of Resistance, which he made as a UCLA student film project in 1972.
Inspired by a dream he had after seeing Angela Davis in handcuffs on television,
Resistance is about an imprisoned female
political prisoner who fantasizes about her freedom as well as her plight by oppressive
forces, including a blasé and contemptuous black bourgeoisie, who conspire to keep her silent and powerless. The film still is, and as with all of Gerima’s films, a resolutely political cry for change and action.
Though some of the symbolism is, admittedly, rather both simplistic and heavy handed
at times, it still very much reflects Gerima’s then new-found political awareness and his discovery of the potential of
cinema as a potent medium to get ideas across.
And considering the packed house last week for the Chicago
showing of his film, Bush Mama, for
which Gerima was there in person, during which he proved to still very much be the fighter and fervent advocate
for political change, these screenings are sure to be popular.
Both Thursday and Saturday screenings will start at 7PM and will take place at the Logan Center of the Arts Screening Room
201, located on the University of
Chicago campus, at 915 E. 60th St.