Get Out – 9/19

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It’s time for a young African American to meet with his white girlfriend’s parents for a weekend in their secluded estate in the woods, but before long, the friendly and polite ambience will give way to a nightmare. Discussion led by professor Erika Williams to follow. Directed by Jordan Peele, horror/suspense, 104 minutes, USA, 2017

Risk – 9/21

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Laura Poitras, Academy Award winning director of CITIZENFOUR, returns with her most personal and intimate film to date. Filmed over six years, RISK is a complex and volatile character study that collides with a high stakes election year and its controversial aftermath. Cornered in a tiny building for half a decade, Julian Assange is undeterred even as the legal jeopardy he faces threatens to undermine the organization he leads and fracture the movement he inspired. In a new world order where a single keystroke can alter history, Risk is a portrait of power, betrayal, truth, and sacrifice. Discussion led by professor Russell Newman to follow. Directed by Laura Poitras, documentary, 92 minutes, USA, 2017.

Wander Wonder Wilderness – 9/26

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Wander, Wonder, Wilderness is a documentary project that explores the urban wilds and parks of Greater Boston. This hour long essay film chronicles the filmmaker’s engagement with green spaces in an urban environment and explores the complex notions that they reveal about human ecology. Discussion with director and professor Paul Turano to follow. Documentary, 58 minutes, USA, 2015.

Forager, a short documentary piece by Elaine Sheldon, will screen before the feature presentation (co-presented by The Non-Fiction Cartel)

Chavela – 9/28

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Through its lyrical structure, Chavela will take viewers on an evocative, thought-provoking journey through the iconoclastic life of game-changing artist Chavela Vargas. Centered around never before-seen interview footage of Chavela shot 20 years before her death in 2012, and guided by the stories in Chavela’s songs, and the myths and tales others have told about her – as well as those she spread about herself – the film weaves an arresting portrait of a woman who dared to dress, speak, sing, and dream her unique life into being. Discussion with directors to follow. Directed by Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi, documentary, 90 minutes, USA, 2017.

I am Not Your Negro – 10/3

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In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, “Remember This House.” The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and assassinations of three of his close friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only 30 completed pages of this manuscript. Filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. Panel discussion led by professor Kimberly McLarin to follow. Directed by Raoul Peck, documentary, 93 minutes, USA, 2017.

Whose Streets? – 10/5

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The short film Conditioned Response by Craig Atkinson and Laura Hartrick will screen prior to the feature presentation.

Told by the activists and leaders who live and breathe this movement for justice, Whose Streets? is an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising. When unarmed teenager Michael Brown is killed by police and left lying in the street for hours, it marks a breaking point for the residents of St. Louis, Missouri. Grief, long-standing racial tensions and renewed anger bring residents together to hold vigil and protest this latest tragedy. Empowered parents, artists, and teachers from around the country come together as freedom fighters. As the national guard descends on Ferguson with military grade weaponry, these young community members become the torchbearers of a new resistance. Discussion with professor Jabari Asim to follow. Directed by Sabaah Folayan, documentary, 90 minutes, USA, 2017.

Kedi – 10/10

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Territory, a short film by Eleanor Mortimer, screens prior to the feature presentation

Hundreds of thousands of cats have roamed the metropolis of Istanbul freely for thousands of years, wandering in and out of people’s lives, impacting them in ways only an animal who lives between the worlds of the wild and the tamed can. Cats and their kittens bring joy and purpose to those they choose, giving people an opportunity to reflect on life and their place in it. In Istanbul, cats are the mirrors to ourselves. Discussion moderated by local filmmaker Vedat Samur with director Ceyda Torun via Skype to follow. Documentary, 80 minutes, Turkey, 2016

The Black Maria Film Festival – 10/12

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Black Maria is an international juried film competition. They have embraced their mission for 35 years by focusing on short films including those, which shine a light on issues and struggles within contemporary society. Their touring programs always include provocative works. They advance and exhibit the work of diverse filmmakers from across the US and around the world. These artists often represent an under-served constituency who might not otherwise have the opportunity for live public exhibition nationwide or abroad. We will be screening a curated selection of animation, documentary, and experimental shorts. A discussion led by professor Rob Todd with a few of the directors to follow. Animation/ experimental/documentary, 101 minutes, USA/ Netherlands/ Poland, 2016.

Band Aid – 10/17

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Anna and Ben can’t stop fighting. Advised by their therapist to try and work through their grief unconventionally, they are reminded of their shared love of music. In a last-ditch effort to save their marriage, they decide to turn all of their fights into songs, and with the help of their neighbor, Dave, they start a band. Discussion with alumni producers Natalia Anderson and Kristen Murtha. Directed by Zoe Lister-Jones, Comedy, 91 minutes, USA, 2017.

Colossal – 10/19

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Gloria is an out-of-work party girl forced to leave her life in New York City, and move back home. When reports surface that a giant creature is destroying Seoul, she gradually comes to the realization that she is somehow connected to this phenomenon. Discussion led by professor Sarah Zaidan to follow. Directed by Nacho Vigolando, Drama/Comedy, 89 minutes, USA/ Spain, 2016.

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Fall 2017 Trailer

Trailer edited by Casey Shatraw