The Gene Siskel Film Center’s 22nd Annual Black Harvest Film Festival celebrates the best in contemporary independent filmmaking exploring the stories, images, heritage, and history of the black experience in the U.S. and around the world.
Here is a list of films playing this week:
Tuesday, Aug. 23 at 6 p.m.
2016, Marc Levin, USA, 74 min.
“Class Divide” shows the high price of gentrification by profiling one intersection in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.
Tuesday, Aug. 23 at 8:15 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 24 at 6:15 p.m.
2016, China L. Colston, USA, 89 min. with China L. Colston, David Roberts.
“Dark Seed” is an intimate drama about Emon (Colston), a hard-driving executive whose biological clock leads to a decision not shared by her husband (Roberts).
This is Not Chiraq
Wednesday, Aug. 24 at 8:30 p.m.
2015, Lawrence Lee Wallace and the Spinartist, USA, 70 min. With Eric Lane, José Santiago, Simeon Henderson.
In this film, Chicago becomes a battleground for two gangs looking to dominate the streets in this series pilot that its creators say aims to portray a more complex human reality than the Controversial Chi-Raq.
Shorts Program: Women of Color
Thursday, Aug. 25 at 8:15 p.m.
2014-16, various directors, USA, 84 min.
The Women of Color shorts program is a collection of short films in which courage and resilience characterize the African American woman in the face of life’s rough spots.
How to Tell You’re a Douchebag
Friday, Aug. 26 at 6:15 p.m.
2016, Tahir Jetter, USA, 80 min. with Charles Brice, Dewanda Wise.
In “How to Tell You’re a Douchebag,” Ray (Brice) 100% player and lightly employed writer of the blog “Occasionally Dating Black Women,” meets his match in Rochelle (Wise), a fellow writer with a high-powered career and a healthy disdain for his bed-hopping ways.
Friday, Aug. 26 at 8:15 p.m.
2015, Lawrence Lee Wallace, USA, 100 min. with Kimberly Washington, Brian C. Green.
“Sunshine Day” is based on Chicago author April Tylon-Warren’s novel and coming-of-age story that takes place on Chicago’s South Side in 1970s. Sunshine (Washington) settles down with Josh (Green), but marriage and motherhood bring challenges.
Spirits of Rebellion: Black Film from UCLA
Saturday, Aug. 27 at 3:00 p.m.
2016, Zeinabu Irene Davis, USA, 100 min.
Director Zeinabu Irene Davis, a graduate of the Ethno-communications Program at UCLA, provides an inside look at the diverse group of filmmakers, teachers, and social-historical factors behind the “LA Rebellion” in this documentary.
Saturday, Aug. 27 at 5:30 p.m.
1999, Zeinabu Irene Davis, USA, 92 min. with John Jelks, Michelle A. Banks.
“Compensation” is a drama with two separate love stories, each involving a deaf woman and a hearing man, inspired by a poem written by Paul Laurence Dunbar.
Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise
Saturday, Aug. 27 at 8:00 p.m.
2016, Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack, USA, 114 min.
The life of poet, writer, and activist Maya Angelou unfolds in this in-depth portrait, which includes a substantial element of storytelling by the artist herself as well as interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Common, Alfre Woodard, Cicely Tyson, Quincy Jones, and Angelou’s son Guy Johnson.
Saving Barbara Sizemore
Sunday, Aug. 28 at 3:00 p.m.
2016, David J. Steiner, USA, 83 min.
This documentary on the Betty Shabazz-Barbara A. Sizemore Academy shows how its school community fought back when it was one of four charter schools put on the chopping block by Chicago Public Schools in 2015.
To Sleep with Anger
Sunday, Aug. 28 at 5:30 p.m.
1990, Charles Burnett, USA, 102 min. with Danny Glover, Paul Butler.
“To Sleep with Anger” is a dark, semi-mystical comedy featuring Danny Glover as Harry Mention, a trickster who places himself into a middle-class South Central household to cause some serious trouble.
For more information on these films or to purchase tickets, visit https://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/blackharvest.