ADIFF Black History Month Program In Harlem Line-Up Announced

February 9, 2017

Black History Month is celebrated in the USA, Canada and the UK. This celebration of the Black Experience started in 1926 inspired by the work of historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. The month of February was the context of the event as it was the month when the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln coincided.

Negro History Week became nationally Black History Month in 1976. President Gerald Ford, speaking on the subject, indicated that the celebration was a moment to “seize the opportunity to honor the too often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”(1)

Kwanzaa and Black History Month are two events rooted in African-American history and experience that have impacted the imagination of Africans and people of African descent in other parts of the world.

With eleven films from seven countries, ADIFF Black History Month film selection is a modest contribution to the celebration of this international event.

The program explores the history of the stolen generations in Australia as well as Australia’s Black Panther Party movement; Slavery in Spain; the American history of the HBCUs spanning 170 years and the landmark 1967 Supreme Court decision that legalized interracial marriage in the USA.

The program also explores the contribution to the arts by three Black artists in 18th century Guadeloupe, 19th century Brazil, and 20th century Cuba, as well as the lives of a Tuskegee airman, a veteran of the French colonial army and an African leader assassinated for his anti-colonial stance. Please see the detailed program below.


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FRI, FEB 24 @ 7pm – Aleijadinho, Passion, Glory and Torment
Set in 19th century Brazil, fascinating historical drama loosely based on the life of Black sculptor Antonio Francisco Lisboa “Aleijadinho,” one of the greatest sculptors of Latin America. (Dir. Geraldo Santos Pereira, Brazil, 2001, Historical Drama, 100 min, in Portuguese with English subtitles.)

SAT, FEB 25 @ 1pm – Thomas Sankara & Tasuma
Captain Thomas Sankara was the leader of the Burkinabe Revolution. (Dir. Balufu Bakupa Kanyinda, DRC, 1991, Doc., 26 min, in French w/ English subt.) Tasuma is a comedy set in contemporary Burkina Faso, about a veteran of the French colonial army – a “tirailleur” – trying to obtain his well-deserved military pension. (Dir. Daniel Kollo Sanou, Burkina Faso, 2003, Comedy, 90 min, English sub.)

SAT, FEB 25 @ 3:30pm – Stolen Generations & Black Panther Woman
Stolen Generations details the history of the removal of Aboriginal children from their parents and draws together testimonies by survivors of Australia’s stolen generation. (Dir. Darlene Johnson, Australia, 2000, Doc., 52 min, English.) Black Panther Woman tells the tale of a little known Australian chapter of the Black Panther Party. (Dir. Rachel Perkins, Australia, 2014, Doc., 53 min, English)

SAT, FEB 25 @ 6pm – The Black Mozart in Cuba
Learn about Joseph Boulogne, Le Chevalier de St George, a Black classical composer and violin virtuoso born in Guadeloupe in the mid 18th century. (Dir. Steve James, Guadeloupe, 2006, 52 min, Documentary, French/English/Spanish with English subtitles.)

SAT, FEB 25 @ 7:30pm – The Loving Story Oscar-shortlist selection
THE LOVING STORY is the definitive account of Loving v. Virginia—the landmark 1967 Supreme Court decision that legalized interracial marriage. (Dir. Nancy Buirski, 2012, USA, 74 min, English.)

SUN, FEB 26 @ 1pm –– Sara Gomez: An Afro-Cuban Filmmaker
the only film about this incredible filmmaker who left us at a very young age in her native Cuba. (Dir. Alessandra Muller, Cuba/Switzerland, 2005, doc., 76 min, in Spanish with English subtitles.)

SUN, FEB 26 @ 3pm – The Luft Gangster: Memoirs of a Second Class Hero
At 93 years old, Lt. Col. Alexander Jefferson recalls his trials and tribulations from early childhood racism in America to his segregated military experience and overseas combat deployment in WWII. (Dir. Mike Rott, 2014, USA, 70 min, English.)

SUN, FEB 26 @ 5pm – Gurumbe, Afro-Andalusian Memories
Flamenco is synonymous with Spanish culture. But the truth is that, since its inception, theorists have sidelined the fundamental contribution of Afro-Andalusians to that art form. In Gurumbe, Afro-Andalusian Memories that story is finally told! (M. Angel Rosale, Spain/Mexico/Portugal/Senegal, 2016, Documentary/History, Music, 72 min, Spanish with English subtitles.)

SUN, FEB 26 @ 7pm – Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges & Universities – Q&A with director STANLEY NELSON after the screening!
Spaning 170 years of American history,Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of HBCUs is the first-ever project of its kind on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Official Selection Sundance 2017!
(Dir. Stanley Nelson, 2017, USA, 85 min, English.)

ADIFF’s Black History Month Program runs Friday, February 24 to Sunday, February 26 at Teachers College, Columbia University – 525 W 120th St. Tickets are $11 and $13. The Weekend Pass is $65.



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