Moloch Tropical

Presented by Facets Cinematheque, this is the eighth Chicago edition of an annual touring festival that collects black independent works from around the world. The festival runs Fri-Thu 6/18-6/24, and includes 15 dramas and documentaries, some which are synopsized below. John Kani wrote, directed, and stars in Nothing But the Truth (2008, 118 min.), a screen adaptation of his play about exiled South Africans returning home after the end of apartheid, and trying to make peace with their countrymen who stayed behind (Fri 6/18, 7 PM, and Thu 6/24, 6:30 PM). Stanley Nelson’s documentary Freedom Riders (2009, 111 min.) revisits the bloody 1961 campaign in the U.S. to desegregate interstate bus stations in the Deep South (Fri 6/18, 9:30 PM). Directed by Raoul Peck (Profit and Nothing But), the dramatic feature Moloch Tropical (2009, 107 min.) tranposes to present-day Port-au-Prince the story of Henri Christophe, who helped wrest Haiti from French control in the 19th century (Sun 6/20, 2:30 PM, and Mon 6/21, 6:30 PM). In Aaron Woolfolk’s drama The Harimaya Bridge (2009, 120 min.), an African-American man whose father died in a Japanese POW camp during World War II journeys to a rural Japanese town where his son also died (Wed 6/23, 6:30 PM). Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (Abouna) wrote and directed Dry Season (2006, 96 min.), about a Chadian teenager whose grandfather urges him to track down and murder the war criminal who killed his father; Andrea Gronvall called it “spare but powerful” (Tue 6/22, 9 PM). And Ahmed Ahmed’s Just Like Us (72 min.) documents a stand-up comedy tour of the Middle East by a group of Arab comedians (Thu 6/24, 9 PM). For a complete schedule see facets.org.  Facets Cinematheque, 1517 W. Fullerton, 773-281-9075, $9. —J.R. Jones