The eighth edition of the annual festival of black independent film runs through Thursday, August 17, at the DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Pl., 947-0600; at the Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, 443-3737; and at Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton, 281-4114. Tickets are $5, $3 for Blacklight members. For more information call 509-2981.
HERITAGE AFRICA Kwah Ansah’s film from Ghana, receiving its U.S. premiere, concerns a young African during the colonialist period who renounces his identity in order to become an African district commissioner. After experiencing many humiliations from the British elite that he attempts to join, he begins to rediscover his African roots. (Film Center, Friday and Sunday, July 28 and 30, 6:00)
KRIK? KRAK! TALES OF A NIGHTMARE Directed by Jac Avila (a Bolivian living in New York) and Vanyoska Gee, this Haitian film concerns a peasant woman whose religious faith is manipulated by a voodoo priest for political ends. The title refers to a specifically Haitian method of story telling. (Film Center, Saturday, July 29, 6:00)
LEOLA Ruby L. Oliver made this, her first feature, after a long career in day care. Set in contemporary Chicago, it concerns a 17-year-old girl from the ghetto whose plans for the future are thrown into jeopardy when she finds herself pregnant. With Carol E. Hall, Audrey Morgan, and Earnest Rayford. A world premiere; director Oliver will be present. (Film Center, Sunday, July 30, 2:00)
LORDS OF THE STREET A film from the Ivory Coast by actor Sijiri Bakaba in his first turn as a director. The plot concerns the son of a tribal king (Georges T. Benson) who returns home after two years in Paris and becomes involved with gangsters. Other actors include Bakaba himself, Pierre-Loup Rajot, and several leading African entertainers in the nightclub sequences (1988). Bakaba will appear at the Friday screening. (Film Center, Friday, July 28, 9:00, and Saturday, July 29, 8:00)
MAKING “DO THE RIGHT THING” St. Clair Bourne’s interesting and informative hour-long, on-location documentary about the shooting of the Spike Lee film. On the same program, Matia Katrella’s half-hour short, Cadillac Dreams, which was nominated for an Academy Award, about the relationship of two brothers in Pasadena. (DuSable Museum, Tuesday, August 1, 7:00)
MAPANTSULA Shot in Johannesburg and Soweto by Oliver Schmitz, a white South African, and cowritten by its costar Thomas Mogotlane, this radical feature offers a grittier view of the antiapartheid movement than either Cry Freedom or A World Apart. The plot follows the gradual coming to political awareness of a petty thief (Mogotlane) who winds up in jail and meets other blacks involved in protesting racism; the dialogue is a heady mixture of subtitled Afrikaans and English. Banned in South Africa, this film conveys a volatile sense of both time and place, and, according to the South African censor, “has the power to incite probable viewers to act violently.” (Facets Multimedia Center, Friday and Saturday, July 28 and 29, 7:00 and 9:00; Sunday, July 30, 5:30 and 7:30; and Monday through Thursday, July 31 through August 3, 7:00 and 9:00)
SHORT FILM SHOWCASE Four short films: Zeinabu Irene Davis’s experimental Cycles; Regge Life’s Reunion, a fiction film set in the 60s about the conflict between a black lawyer–played by Denzel Washington–and his wife, who decides to join a Freedom Ride; Paul Bloom’s Public Enemy, about a teenage crack dealer; and Ngozi Onwaura’s Fruits of Fear, an English antiapartheid documentary (DuSable Museum, Wednesday, August 2, 7:00)