Last night I finally got a chance to attend the 38th-annual Atlanta Film Festival, a week-long event where buzzy independent films, shorts and movie projects are screened at Atlanta's oldest operating cinema, the Plaza Theatre. I missed quite a few showings I really wanted to see (potty training a toddler makes your social life crappy in more ways than one), but catching the photo-documentary Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People made up for everything I didn't get to see. Here's why you too should see this really cool project when it comes to your town.
There is more than one scene in Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave that's not easy to watch, but like many movies about some of humanity's most historically evil times, there's one that will stand out for most people. Without giving it away, I'll say that it's something that also happened in D'jango Unchained but not quite to the same degree, although I say that while taking nothing away from Quentin Tarantino's film.
People will immediately compare D'jango and 12, and for good reason. Both seem to be opposite sides of the same cursed coin minted from the blood/cotton money that is still owed to the descendants of slaves to this day. However, in one of these films, a character that is not based on any known historical figure kills almost every person involved in his bondage. In the other film, which is based on a true story (reportedly fact checked for historical accuracy by none other than Beer Summit attendee/Harvard professor/pseudo Obama friend Henry Louis "Skip" Gates), the hero receives no such satisfaction. No spoiler alert necessary--all one has to do is look up the story of Solomon Northup.
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