The Chicago Film Archives presents another edition of its Out of the Vault series tomorrow night with a screening of four short films documenting disturbances surrounding the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago:
The Right to Dissent: A Press Conference examines how city-imposed regulations on political expression backfire, leading to an outbreak of violence between demonstrators and police.
Social Confrontation: The Battle of Michigan Avenue documents violent clashes at Grant Park, as well as disturbances in front of the Conrad Hilton and on the Convention floor.
Law and Order Vs. Dissent exposes city officials’ efforts to doctor media coverage of the events.
Last is What Trees Do They Plant?, the city’s attempt to salvage Chicago’s national reputation by vilifying protesters (they’re hell-bent on violence and communist!). The film features news footage of violent demonstrations, interviews with police hurt in the clashes, and secret police surveillance films of demonstration leaders. At 60 minutes, it’s by far the longest film of the evening.
The program, at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater (78 E. Washington), starts at 7 PM and includes a postscreening discussion with Bill Cottle, a principle in the Film Group, which documented social and political upheaval in 60s and 70s Chicago, Ruth Ratney, who wrote What Trees Do They Plant?, and Franklin McMahon, a media artist and writer.
Call 773-478-3799 for more information.