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BLACK HISTORY MONTH FILM SERIES

January 27, 2011
In celebration of Black History Month, there will be a weekly movie screening each WEDNESDAY @ 7:30pm (held after Random Row’s weekly community meal). This series is comprised of rarely-seen pictures which offer a unique or radical take on blackness and the cultural politics of race.
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Wednesday, February 2
>>> WATERMELON MAN (1970)
The white bread world of a casually bigoted white insurance salesman gets shaken up a bit, when he wakes up one morning to find that he has become a black man. This caustic comedy was director Melvin Van Peebles second feature film, made a year before the more well-known SWEET SWEETBACK’S BAADASSSSS SONG.
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Wednesday, February 9
>>> LUMUMBA: DEATH OF A PROPHET (1992)
This documentary by Raoul Peck (who was born in Haiti but raised in what is now the Congo) reconsiders the legacy of Patrice Lumumba, the Pan-Africanist leader and first democratically elected president of the Congo. Lumumba held office for only a year before being imprisoned and murdered in a Belgian-backed military coup (urged and assisted by the CIA).

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Wednesday, February 16
>>> THE SPOOK WHO SAT BY THE DOOR (1973)
For political reasons, the CIA looks to recruit a token black agent. They hire Dan Freeman, a covert black nationalist, and educate him in subversion and guerilla warfare.  After receiving government training, he leaves the force and returns to his Chicago neighborhood, where he mentors black youth and shares with them what he has learned.

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Wednesday, February 23
>>> THE LANDLORD (1970)
Privileged uptown whiteboy Elgar Enders decides to buy a brownstone in a low income black neighborhood in Brooklyn. Initially intent on gutting the place and kicking out the tenants, he ends up making attachments with the residents. This parallels his move to “run away from home”  (at 29) as he grows more and more horrified with his bigoted upper class parents. Director Hal Ashby’s edgy comedy-drama is highly unique stylistic take on the culture of blackness in 1970.

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