Eldridge Cleaver-Black Panther

Theme: Unite to Fight

Dir. William Klein, 1970, 75 min.

The time is 1969 and reporter William Klein is in Algeria covering the pan-African festival. While there he conducts a riveting interview with Black Panther in exile Eldridge Cleaver about everything ranging from the Vietnam War and the attempts on Cleaver’s life to the relations between black-power groups and Pan-African movements worldwide. This movie is the record of that interview.




Dir. Ben Wang and Mike Cheng, 2009, 94 mins.

One of the best-kept secrets in the history of the Black Panther Party is the life of Richard Aoki, which is the subject of this documentary. Richard Aoki, who was placed in a Japanese interment camp along with his family when he was only four years old, grew up in Oakland, went to Berkeley and eventually joined the Black Panthers where he rose to become a field marshal, a Third World Liberation Front leader and a professor.


“Aoki” Q&A with “The Artist” Emory Douglas (Minister of Culture BPP) and co-directors Ben Wang and Mike Cheng

Followed by Reception with music sponsored by Sugar Hill Ale


Dir. William Klein, France, 1981, 135 minutes

Klein’s tense record of the 1981 French Open—with Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Chris Evert, and others—is also a canny observation of the mechanics of performance. The French Open (known backhandedly as “The French”) is the most esteemed of the grand tennis tournaments. In 1981, an uncanny convergence of great players occurred as Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Chris Evert, Ivan Lendl, Martina Navratilova, Vitas Gerulaitis, Hana Mandlíková, Jimmy Connors, and others made their way to the rain-soaked courts near Paris. For Klein, this was an opportunity to observe the mechanics of virtuosic performance, but with the addition of the mental wear and tear that such engagement can bring. A hushed tension builds throughout the film as the onlookers pan their noggins, coaches gaze with dreary bemusement, locker rooms bristle with anxious energy, and the players go to seed. At the center of it all stands the impenetrable Bjorn Borg, precise, unflappable, and dogged. The French is fourteen days of unwavering stress, broken only by sporadic downpours and the gasps of surrender. In tennis, love is always having to say you’re sorry.

—Steve Seid