The fifth annual Chicago Anarchist Film Festival continues Friday and Saturday, May 13 and 14, at Highschool, 1542 N. Milwaukee, third floor, 773-862-1011. Doors open at 6:30 each night, screenings are by video projection, and each program totals about three hours.
Bill Stamets wrote that Slawomir Grunberg’s documentary Borderline (57 min.), screening on Friday, “examines the case against Eunice Baker, a borderline retarded woman in Owego, New York, who signed a questionable confession and was convicted of murder in 2000 after a malfunctioning furnace killed a three-year-old girl she was babysitting. Grunberg wants to exonerate Baker, but his agenda is almost upstaged by her mother, Debra Brown, who claims to suffer from multiple personality disorder and delivers such polished sound bites as ‘When people are poor they suffer, and when they suffer they look for someone to blame.’ In February 2004 a court reduced Baker’s charge from murder to criminally negligent homicide and released her.” Also screening on this program are Sarah George’s Catching Out (2003, 80 min.), which profiles modern-day hoboes still riding the rails; Steven Mathesen’s Apple Grown in Wind Tunnel (2000, 26 min.), a drama about an underground community that communicates by illegal radio broadcast; and excerpts from Mel Stuart’s concert film Wattstax (1973), about soul music and black power at the 1972 Watts Summer Festival.
Two features anchor the Saturday program: In Gregor Schnitzler’s black comedy What to Do in Case of Fire (2001, 101 min., in German with subtitles), six German radicals plant a bomb in an empty building, but by the time it detonates, 15 years later, some of the perpetrators have joined the establishment. Francesca Comencini’s Carlo Giuliani: A Boy (2002, 62 min., in Italian with subtitles) profiles the 23-year-old man killed by Italian police during the G8 summit in Genoa in July 2001.