alaskaLand tells the story of Chukwuma, an Alaska-raised Nigerian struggling to balance his cultural heritage with the pressures of the larger world around him. After a family tragedy forces a two-year estrangement from his younger sister Chidinma, the siblings reconnect in their hometown. Although their time apart has created new frictions, they find their reconciliation bringing them closer to each other and to their roots in this gorgeous, knowing debut film.
English, 75 min
A powerhouse talent of stage, television, and film, Viola Davis has deservedly been recognized as one of the most versatile and commanding actresses of our generation. From her Academy Award®-nominated performances in Doubt and The Help to her acclaimed work in Solaris, Antwone Fisher, Far From Heaven and this year’s Won't Back Down, Viola Davis has provided audiences with rich characters and nuanced performances. We are proud to present her with our Career Achievement Award, placing her alongside fellow recipients Morgan Freeman, Halle Berry, and Sidney Poitier. Join us for this conversation with Viola Davis as we celebrate her talent and career.AMC River East 21322 E. Illinois St.6:30 pm Red Carpet7:00 pm Tribute and award presentation9:00 pm Reception at Cibo Matto at theWit (201 N. State St.)
In the 90s, Ron Waters (Harry Lennix) was the hottest comic in Hollywood. Richard Pryor-like in his trenchant social and political commentary, Ron ultimately was driven away by controversy that increased as he grew more successful. Now settled in Chicago doing regular standup routines at his wife’s (Tatum O’Neal) club, he is given a second shot at the big time. But, as he learns once again, fame and fortune come at a price.
English, 97 min
In the tumultuous South Africa of the late 1980s, young Otelo looks for freedom wherever he can find it. When he and his friends are introduced to surfing, they swiftly take to the sport, a welcome reprieve from pressures both societal and parental. As the group rises in skill and fame, tensions and egos inevitably develop, further flamed by Otelo’s romantic interest in his friend’s sister and the escalating political conflicts around them.
Zulu with subtitles, 95 min
Starring director Terence Nance as a version of himself, a young man attempts to make a female friend something more. A single event motivates an abstract and witty introspection into the origins of his feelings toward her. Brazenly mixing live action with animation and eschewing classical narrative structure, An Oversimplfication of Her Beauty is a stylish, exhilarating American debut.
English, 90 min
How do we define Black or African-American Cinema? Who are the filmmakers and audiences? How can filmmakers ensure that the Black experience is accurately and creatively expressed? A group of filmmakers, scholars and community activists consider questions of race, voice, representation and authenticity in Black independent filmmaking.
Bill Ross and Turner Ross
Produced by members of the film collective behind the acclaimed Beasts of the Southern Wild, Tchoupitoulas provides a very different evocation of New Orleans life. The Ross brothers’ cameras follow three young boys and their dog as they cheerfully wander the French Quarter from sunset to sunrise. The result is a lyrical city symphony, capturing New Orleans, childhood, and the spirit of exploration with quiet observation and deft imagery.
English, 80 min
What would you do if you knew today was your last day on earth? A joyous, impressionistic celebration of life and death, Tey follows Satché (played by musician Saül Williams) from the moment he wakes, with full knowledge of his imminent passing. Wandering through the streets of his hometown, Satché reminisces about his friends and family, reflecting on the choices he has made and their consequences.
French, Wolof, and Mandinka with subtitles, 89 min
A remarkable, inspiring story of human resilience, War Witch tells the story of Komona, a 14-year-old girl whose life took a drastic, tragic turn when armed rebels stormed her village. Forced to join the rebel army and endure brutal training, Komona learns to survive, and even falls in love. Although she wishes to forget, the now-pregnant Komona realizes she must reconcile herself with her painful past.
French and Lingala with subtitles, 90 min
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