This programme of films has been curated by Jacqueline Najuma Stewart, professor of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago, for Black Cinema House. Black Cinema House is an organisation that hosts screenings and discussions of films by and about the people of the African diaspora. Located in Chicago, it is a flagship programme of Rebuild Foundation, a non-profit organization that aims to rebuild the cultural foundations of underinvested neighbourhoods and to revitalize communities through culture based, artist led and neighbourhood driven activities.
For more information please see the Black Cinema House website.
Directed by Mel Stuart
Running time: 98 minutes
This 1973 documentary film by Mel Stuart focuses on the 1972 Wattstax music festival. Organised by the Memphis-based label Stax Records to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the Watts riots, it took place at the Lost Angeles Memorial Coliseum and entry was virtually free – tickets cost just $1 – allowing as many people as possible to attend. The acts included Stax artists Rufus Thomas, The Staple Singers, William Bell, Kim Weston and Isaac Hayes among others as well as an invocation by the Reverend Jesse Jackson. Nominated for a Golden Globe for the Best Documentary Film in 1974, the film features additional interviews with Richard Pryor and Ted Lange.
Reservation is not necessary, but places are limited. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.