African Diaspora Film Festival | Movie Sidebar | Chicago Reader

African Diaspora Film Festival 

Friday through Thursday, 6/18-6/24, at Facets

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Moloch Tropical

Moloch Tropical

Presented by Facets Cinematheque, this is the eighth Chicago edition of an annual touring festival that collects black independent works from around the world. The festival runs Fri-Thu 6/18-6/24, and includes 15 dramas and documentaries, some which are synopsized below. John Kani wrote, directed, and stars in Nothing But the Truth (2008, 118 min.), a screen adaptation of his play about exiled South Africans returning home after the end of apartheid, and trying to make peace with their countrymen who stayed behind (Fri 6/18, 7 PM, and Thu 6/24, 6:30 PM). Stanley Nelson's documentary Freedom Riders (2009, 111 min.) revisits the bloody 1961 campaign in the U.S. to desegregate interstate bus stations in the Deep South (Fri 6/18, 9:30 PM). Directed by Raoul Peck (Profit and Nothing But), the dramatic feature Moloch Tropical (2009, 107 min.) tranposes to present-day Port-au-Prince the story of Henri Christophe, who helped wrest Haiti from French control in the 19th century (Sun 6/20, 2:30 PM, and Mon 6/21, 6:30 PM). In Aaron Woolfolk's drama The Harimaya Bridge (2009, 120 min.), an African-American man whose father died in a Japanese POW camp during World War II journeys to a rural Japanese town where his son also died (Wed 6/23, 6:30 PM). Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (Abouna) wrote and directed Dry Season (2006, 96 min.), about a Chadian teenager whose grandfather urges him to track down and murder the war criminal who killed his father; Andrea Gronvall called it "spare but powerful" (Tue 6/22, 9 PM). And Ahmed Ahmed's Just Like Us (72 min.) documents a stand-up comedy tour of the Middle East by a group of Arab comedians (Thu 6/24, 9 PM). For a complete schedule see  Facets Cinematheque, 1517 W. Fullerton, 773-281-9075, $9. —J.R. Jones

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