The sixth annual Chicago Anarchist Film Festival runs Saturday and Sunday, May 6 and 7, at Acme Art Works, 1741 N. Western. Screenings are by video projection, and each program totals four hours; for more information visit www.arsenalmagazine.net/filmfest.
Saturday’s program begins at 7 PM and includes short works from the Argentinean media collective Grupo Alavio; Rob Van Alkemade’s short Preacher With an Unknown God (2005), about the performance artist Reverend Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping; and Jose Padilha’s Brazilian feature Bus 174 (2002, 119 min.), in Portuguese with subtitles. Patrick Z. McGavin described the latter as “a synthesis of Pixote and Dog Day Afternoon, documenting a June 2000 incident in which a thwarted bus robbery in Rio de Janeiro turned into a nationally televised hostage crisis. Swirling around this terrifying ordeal are despairing reflections on race, class, police corruption, media sensationalism, and social inequality. Padilha opens with an elaborately conceived tracking shot that underlines the country’s severe social and economic stratification, and as he shifts between a white-hot present tinged with fear to a hallucinatory past of death, poverty, and neglect, the movie generates an almost unendurable tension. In this context the assailant’s rage is persuasive and the resolution of the crisis grim and numbing; Padilha allows neither easy answers nor ironic commentary, producing on both sides of the conflict a world of inconsolable grief.”
Sunday’s program begins at 5 PM and includes videos with Black Panther veteran Malik Rahim; Steven Fischler and Joel Sucher’s documentary Anarchy in America (1982, 75 min.); and the Argentinean feature Wild Horses (1995, 122 min.), in Spanish with subtitles. Directed by Marcelo Pineyro from a script by Aida Bortnik (The Official Story), it’s about a septuagenarian anarchist, a young bank executive who helps him abscond with $15,000, and a young woman they pick up as they flee the police, the media, and a Patagonian mob.