Mean Streets: Viewing the Divided City through the Lens of Film and Television

  • Sunday, November 13, 2016 • 12:00 pm
  • Lee Auditorium, Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd

The revealing mirrors of film and television reflect problems within society. This program, offered as part of the St. Louis International Film Festival, will screen both narrative and documentary works that address the strong relationship between racial divisions and urban spaces in the United States. Ethnic and religious divides that split cities in other parts of the world will also be addressed. Screenings will be accompanied by discussions and Q&A sessions.

Mean Streets

Download the PDF flyer for this event

Chiraq, 7pm
Spike Lee, U.S., 2015, 127 min.
Beautiful Lysistrata (Teyonah Parris) is in love with aspiring rapper Demtrius “ChiRaq” Dupree (Nick Cannon), but she is disturbed by the bloody war between his Spartan gang and the rival Trojans, led by Cyclops (Wesley Snipes). After Trojans set fire to her apartment while she’s in bed with ChiRaq (pronounced ShyRACK),Lysistrata moves in with her neighbor Miss Helen (Angela Bassett), a bookloving peace activist who lost her daughter years before to a stray bullet. When Patti, an 11yearold neighborhood girl, is accidentally killed in a driveby
shooting, her grieving mother (Jennifer Hudson) pleads with anyone who witnessed the crime to come forward. But even after a reward is offered by a local congregation led by fiery antigunviolence activist (John Cusack), no one is willing to identify the killer. Shaken by Patti’s death and desperate to do something to stop the escalating bloodshed, Lysistrata persuades Spartan and Trojan women to swear off sex with their men until the fighting stops. To draw more attention to
their cause, she leads the women in a bold occupation of a local armory, inspiring women across the city — and eventually the world — to join the boycott. As the ultimate battle of the
sexes rages on, the city’s fate hangs in the balance in this searing satire of gun violence in America. With screenwriter Kevin Willmott and participating scholar.

Saturday, November 12 2016 at 12:00 pm – 10:00pm

Southern Rites, 12pm
Gillian Laub, U.S., 2016, 87 min.
“Southern Rites” visits Montgomery County, Ga., one year after the town merged its racially segregated proms, and during a historic election campaign that may lead to its first
AfricanAmerican sheriff. Acclaimed photographer Gillian Laub, whose photos first brought the area unwanted notoriety, documents the repercussions when a white town resident is charged with the murder of a young black man. The case divides locals along wellworn racial lines, and the ensuing plea bargain and sentencing uncover complex truths and produce emotional
With director Gillian Laub and participating scholar.

Camden: Love/Hate
Daniel Meirom & Ron Lipsky, U.S., 2016, 75 min.
“Camden Love Hate” follows six teenagers from Camden, N.J., as they document the story of their city from the glory days of the postwar boom to today’s violent and fraught reality. The teenagers learned filmmaking skills at a lastchance high school and use their newfound skills to
express complex feelings about one of the most dangerous cities in America. The students took an active part in creating the film, taking cameras into the community, interviewing the most
interesting people they encountered, and exploring the history of Camden.
With codirector Daniel Meyrom, subject Kimel Levi Hadden, and participating scholar.

Doc Shorts: Black Lives Matter
A program of St. Louisand Missouri-focused documentary shorts that address the stories of Ferguson and the Black Lives Matter movement:

  •  “Black Brunch” (Dennis Desai,2016), which recounts Millennium Activists United’s surprise Black Lives Matter protest at a South County brunch spot. With filmmakers and subjects.
  • “Concerned Student 1950” (Adam Dietrich, 2016), in which a series of racist acts prompts three University of Missouri students to pick up cameras and document
  • Concerned Student 1950, the student movement whose peaceful protest brought down the college president.
  • “A Ferguson Story” (Lonnie Edwards, 2015), which captures images from the aftermathof the Michael Brown shooting.
  • “Profiling Race: Mike Higgins” (Matthew Seilback, 2016), which explores Mike Higgins’ childhood in St. Louis, service in the Army, mission as a pastor, and work in the Black Lives Matter movement.

With directors and subjects.

Sunday, November 13 2016 at 12:00 pm – 10:00pm

Milwaukee 53206, 12pm
Keith McQuirter, US, 2016, 52 min.
The zip code 53206 in Milwaukee has the highest rate of incarcerated African American men in the country. This film tells the stories of the people in this community who live with the effects ofmass incarceration and the impact it has on the individual, family, and the community.
With director Keith McQuirter and participating scholar.
Program includes the documentary short “I, Destini” (Nicholas Pilarski & Destini Riley, U.S., 2016, 14 min.): An animated documentary that explores the poignant and imaginative illustrations of a youth grappling with the effects of having an incarcerated loved one.

Bogdan’s Journey
MichalMichal Jaskulski & Lawrence Loewinger, Poland/Israel/U.S., 2015, 90 min.
Polish & English Kielce, Poland, was the site of Europe’s last Jewish program. In 1946, a year after World War II
ended, townspeople killed 40 Holocaust survivors seeking shelter in a downtown building, and murdered and injured 80 more around the city. As news of the pogrom spread across Poland, Jews fled the country. For 35 years, under Communism in Poland, the pogrom was a forbidden subject, but it was never forgotten. In a free Poland, Bogdan Białek — a Catholic Pole,
journalist, editor, and trained psychologist — emerges to talk publicly about the issue. Over time and with great effort, he persuades the people of Kielce to confront a painful piece of their hidden history. Beginning as solitary figure, he attracts a community of likeminded individuals along the way. Engaged in a battle of competing narratives, he cuts through the fog of
repression and denial.
With codirector Lawrence Loewinger and participating scholar.

Two Trains Runnin’
Sam Pollard, U.S., 2016, 80 min.
The documentary — featuring the music of Gary Clark Jr. — pays tribute to a pioneering generation of musicians and cuts to the heart of our present moment, offering a crucial vantage
from which to view the evolving dynamics of race in America. In June of 1964 hundreds of college students, eager to join the civilrights movement, traveled to Mississippi, starting what would be known as Freedom Summer. That same month, moving on a parallel track, two groups of young men — musicians, college students, and record collectors — also traveled to Mississippi to find blues legends Son House and Skip James.
With subject Greg Tate (tentative) and participating scholar.

For a complete schedule, visit

View campus maps, directions and parking info