Black Harvest Internation Film and Video Festival | Movie Sidebar | Chicago Reader

Black Harvest Internation Film and Video Festival 

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Black Harvest International Film and Video Festival

This festival of films and videos by black artists from all over the world--which replaces the Blacklight Film Festival and has a new team of programmers--runs from Friday, August 1, through Sunday, August 10, at the Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson. Tickets are $6, $3 for Film Center members; a $45 festival pass is good for admission to all films. For more information call 312-443-3737.


Macadam Tribe

See Critic's Choice. (6:00)

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

This first feature by John Fisher is a romantic comedy about college juniors. Fisher will attend the screening. (8:00)


Everyone's Child

This 1996 Zimbabwean film, directed by Tsitsi Dangarembga and sponsored by several development agencies, is weighed down by its good intentions. Three rural children are orphaned when their parents die of AIDS; after an uncle and the neighbors abandon them (signaling the breakdown of traditional social structures) the daughter is forced into prostitution, and the older son seeks his fortune on the streets of Harare. Though it effectively portrays the boy's life in the street gangs of the capital and the girl's entrapment by an older man, the film is a mess, a pastiche of visual styles and preachy songs that rather ridiculously delineate the social issues. On its own, however, the sound track offers an interesting selection of contemporary Zimbabwe music. On the same program, two shorts: Rachel Liebert and Barbara Parker's Undertaker and Omonike Akinyemi's Medusa Talks. (FC) (4:00)

Macadam Tribe

See Critic's Choice. (6:00)

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

See listing under Friday, August 1. (8:00)


D-Tours, Urban Suite, and Sisters in Cinema

The two longer works on this program are TV pilots by Chicago-based Middle Passage Productions. D-Tours is aimed at African-American tourists interested in "rich and diverse African traditions"; the pilot, hosted by comedian Bertice Berry, takes us to Bahia, Brazil. Jack Ginay's Urban Suite, a witty guide to economical redecorating, is enlivened by its fast-motion cinematography and the energy of host T.C. Carson. Carson uses mostly African art and fabrics in redoing a Chicago apartment, and at the end we get a bit of a cooking show as he quickly prepares a shrimp salad. Yvonne Welbon's Sisters in Cinema is a somewhat unfocused ten-minute proposal for a documentary about black women filmmakers, including too-short fragments of early footage (some supervised by Zora Neale Hurston) and material on contemporary directors. All three to be shown on video; Welbon and Middle Passage producer Barbara Allen will attend the screening. (FC) (2:00)

Awara Soup

Cesar Paes's 1996 documentary, set in French Guyana, explores a small town's extraordinary cultural diversity. The title refers to a local soup that harmoniously blends every possible ingredient--a metaphor for the town's populace, which includes Europeans, American Indians, Hmong, and people of African descent. Rather than give his film a narrative framework or obvious organizational structure, Paes keeps it rambling and episodic, true to the town's unplanned cultural stew; visual facts provide the main interest, as the camera captures small details of cooking, animal slaughtering, pool playing, and other facets of local life. On the same program, three shorts: Jamika Ajalon's Memory Tracks, a wildly fragmented portrait of "a young black woman on the brink of madness [searching] for the revolution"; Carl Seaton's Exodus 12:21.30 (1996); and Portia Cobb's Don't Hurry Back (1996). (FC) (4:00)

The Keeper

A preview screening of Joe Brewster's 1995 first feature, starring Giancarlo Esposito as a guard at a Brooklyn jail and Isaach de Bankole as a Haitian immigrant imprisoned for a rape he insists he didn't commit. With Regina Taylor. (6:30)


Macadam Tribe

See Critic's Choice. (6:00)

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