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 and family”.
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.