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Date & Time

Thursday, October 18, 2018
7:00 PM


Off Campus (see description)



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Department of Cinema and Media Studies
(773) 834-1077


Cinema 53: Congo Oye and Finally Got the News with Cauleen Smith, Robert Bird, Jonathan Flatley and Matt Peterson

Harper Theater
5238 S Harper Ave

On the fiftieth anniversary of 1968, Cinema 53 presents revolutionary films and films about revolution, featuring movies from the 1960s-80s that delve into the pitfalls of revolution and explore the emancipatory potential of film. Co-curated by artist Cauleen Smith and UChicago film scholar Robert Bird, 2018 Andrew Mellon Collaborative Fellows for Arts Practice and Scholarship at the Gray Center, the fall series of screenings and conversation is part of their shared endeavor to unpack the revolutionary potential of filmic images.

Finally Got the News (Stewart Bird, Rene Lichtman & Peter Gessner with League of Revolutionary Black Workers, 1970, 55m)

An incisive, revelatory portrait of African American autoworkers in Michigan factories, whose grievances had reached a boiling point by 1969. Recombining in independent, militant organizing groups, they attempt to bypass the demands the of auto companies, the resentment of their fellow white workers (many of whom also migrated from rural Southern poverty), and the timidity of their ostensible allies in the United Auto Workers.

Congo Oye: We have come back (Bill Stephens, Paul and Carole Roussopoulas with Eldridge and Kathleen Cleaver, 1971, 45m)

In 1971, while the Black Panther Party was torn by internal warfare and attacks from the FBI COINTELPRO, Eldridge Cleaver led a delegation to the capital city of the People’s Republic of Congo, Brazzaville, hoping to relocate the BPP international section in sub-Saharan Africa to tie the Black Power Movement to an African ‘Socialist’ revolution. The recently unearthed film of this journey documents what might have been a founding moment interconnecting revolutions, and uniting Marxist-based protests from black people worldwide.

This evening’s guests:

Jonathan Flatley is an Associate Professor of English at Wayne State University. He is the author of Like Andy Warhol (University of Chicago Press) and Affective Mapping: Melancholia and the Politics of Modernism (Harvard University Press). Flatley has authored numerous articles that appear in New Literary History, Criticism, and Afterall, among others. He has co-edited two volumes of Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts and Pop Out: Queer Warhol (Duke University Press).

Matt Peterson co-directed the documentary features Scenes from a Revolt Sustained (2014) and Spaces of Exception (2018). Since 2014 he has collaborated with Malek Rasamny on The Native and the Refugee, a multi-media documentary project on American Indian reservations and Palestinian refugee camps. He was a member of the collectives Red Channels and the 16 Beaver Group, and collaborated with the Brecht Forum and the Public School-New York.