Date: February 2020
Location: Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2E8
Curated by Barbara Chirinos in partnership with VIFF Vancity Theatre’s Tom Charity, our annual Black History Month film series is a significant contribution to Vancouver’s cultural diversity.
*Please note most screenings are 19+. $5 screening of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Films + Events
Monday, February 3, 2020 at 6:20 PM
Surviving under slavery in 1840s Maryland, Minty Ross (Cynthia Erivo in a powerful, Oscar-nominated performance) escapes and finds her way across 100 miles to freedom in Philadelphia, and takes up her free name: Harriet Tubman. Kasi Lemmons’ film about the Underground Railroad is an object lesson in creating accessible, direct, emotional cinematic drama from the stark bones of history.
Monday, February 3, 2020 at 8:40 PM
In tribute to writer-director John Singleton, who passed away last year,his groundbreaking 1991 debut feature, a powerful and incredibly influential portrait of three young men growing up in South Central, Los Angeles. Doughboy (Ice Cube) is a dealer. His brother Ricky (Morris Chestnut) a college-bound teen father. Tre (Cuba Gooding Jr) is Ricky’s best friend, and dreams of escaping the hood – a sense of purpose instilled by his father, Furious Styles (Laurence Fishburne).
Monday, February 10, 2020 at 6:30 PM
Cheryl (Cheryl Dunye) is a twenty-something black lesbian struggling to make a documentary about Fae Richards, a beautiful and elusive 1930s black film actress popularly known as “The Watermelon Woman.” While uncovering details of Fae Richards’ life, Cheryl experiences a total upheaval in her personal life. Her love affair with Diana (Guinevere Turner), a white woman, and her interactions with the gay and black communities, are subject to the criticism of her best friend Tamara (Valerie Walker).
Monday, February 10, 2020 at 8:30 PM
In Long Time Comin’, poet/filmmaker Dionne Brand charts the work of two Black queer Canadian artists: folk/jazz singer-songwriter Faith Nolan and multimedia visual artist Grace Channer. Using a combination of interviews and vérité footage of the women at work, Brand showcases their projects, as well as their thoughts on art, race and sexuality. Long Time Comin’ speaks to Studio D’s mandate to address the stories, lives and art of women who have been historically and structurally marginalized.
Monday, February 17, 2020 at 6:30 PM
This deeply poetic and visually compelling film illuminates Mozambique’s violent struggle for independence through the experience of Atanasio Nyusi, a legendary masked dancer of the Makonde people. Melding interviews, musical performance and archival footage, director Sara Gouvela creates a memorable synthesis of art and history.
“A wicked cool arts doc about the power of dance. It’s a story of resistance and of keeping cultural identity alive through the arts.” Pat Mullen, POV magazine
Monday, February 17, 2020 at 8:10 PM
Legendary Nigerian Afro-beat pioneer Fela Kuti has long been a subject of fascination for music lovers. Brazilian filmmaker Joel Zito Araujo takes a more personal and political perspective here, through the entree provided by Fela’s long-time friend Carlos Moore. Kuti came of age at the height of the radical black consciousness movement, and this proves a worthy prism in which to understand both the man, his art, and his excesses.
Monday, February 24, 2020 at 6:15 PM
In honour of the late, great Toni Morrison, this 2019 profile is a warm, personable and insightful history of her life and work, with contributions from Oprah Winfrey, Angela Davis, Russell Banks, Walter Mosely, and Hilton Als. But it’s Morrison herself who commands centre stage, dispensing wit and wisdom with the forthright but nuanced intelligence you would expect.
“Moving and profound. Look for this one to be front and center come Oscar time.” LA Times
+ short: After Africville (18 min)
Monday, February 24, 2020 at 8:45 PM
The servant. The African tribesman. The Voodoo priestess. The Magical Negro. And, of course, the hapless guy who dies first. For much of the history of horror, black American characters have been confined to a limited number of tropes. But that’s changing.
Based on the book of the same name, Horror Noire is an entertaining and incisive exploration of black characters in horror films. Our guides include scholars and academics, actors like Tony Todd (Candyman) and filmmakers like Ernest Dickerson (Tales from the Crypt).
Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at 8:00 PM
Ja’Tovia Gary’s 42-minute kaleidoscope of a film interweaves a Nina Simone concert, on-the-fly interviews with Black women in Harlem, and images of Monet’s titular gardens, none of which have much to do with each other until you consider how the director integrates each element into a richly expressive montage. Through the eyes–or better yet, the ears–of Gary, this compendium of footage comes to express the trauma and resilience bound up in the cultural inheritance of Black women.
Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 8:10 PM
The eternally cool William Marshall puts a fresh spin on the age-old legend of the vampire, condemned to wander the earth with an insatiable lust for blood.
“Blacula is beautiful, a totally entertaining movie that is not only a successful satire… but also provides a number of genuinely terrifying moments.” Dick Lochte, LA Free Press