The Thaw: Proto-verite in the Soviet Union

Presented with Red Channels and the Brecht Forum

Russian Close-Up

Dir. Albert Maysles, 1957, 33 min.

Albert and David Maysles managed to buy their BMW motorcycle for only 300 dollars in Germany and travel across Eastern Europe into Russia. The brothers were helped in large part by the fact that they were (officially at least) going to attend the communist youth festival in Hungary. When they got there they were some of the very few Americans that were present. This film is a document of that adventure as well as a visual diary of the places and faces encountered by Albert and David along this cross-country motorcycle ride through the former Soviet Union. Since Russian Close-Up is a silent film Albert Maysles will provide a taped audio commentary recorded especially for this screening.


Opening in Moscow

Dir. DA Pennebaker, Shirley Clarke, Albert Maysles, 1959, 45 min.

In 1959 Richard Leacock, Albert Maysles, Shirley Clark and DA Pennebaker were all in Moscow where they made this film. This movie is an impressionistic look at Kruschev's Russia centered around the opening of the american exhibition in Moscow at the 1959 world fair. T In observing Russian people observing Americans play acting the role of the average U.S. citizen at the exhibition, the film documents a curious inversion where it is American lifestyle that signifies the exotic culture that is then presented and exhibited to spectators instead of the other way around. The film cleverly cuts between shots of the spectacle of the American exhibition and shots of Moscow and its people going about their daily lives thus making a statement about the differences and similarities between Russian and American working class life during this crucial period.


After the Screening: Panel Discussion with director DA Pennebaker and special guest

Moderated by Malek Rasamny

Presented in Partnership with Red Channels and the Brecht Forum

Radiant Child

Dir. Tamra Davis, 2010, 88 min.

This definitive documentary chronicles the meteoric rise and fall of the young artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. In the crime-ridden NYC of the 1970s, he covers the city with the graffiti tag SAMO. By 1981 he puts paint on canvas for the first time, and by 1983 he’s a “rock star” artist. By 1985 he and Andy Warhol have become close friends and painting collaborators, but they part ways and Warhol dies suddenly in 1987. Basquiat’s heroin addiction worsens, and he dies of an overdose at the age of 27. With compassion and psychological insight, director Tamra Davis details the mysteries that surround this charismatic young man, an artist of enormous talent whose fortunes mirrored the rollercoaster downtown art scene he seemed to embody.

Showing 11/12, 11/13, 11/14

Doc Watchers

Very Young Girls

Dir. David Schisgal & Nina Alvarez, 2008, 82 mins.

Very Young Girls is an exposé of human trafficking that follows thirteen and fourteen year old American girls, as they are seduced, abused, and sold on New York’s streets by pimps, while being treated as adult criminals by police. The film follows the barely-adolescent girls in real time, as they are first lured on to the streets, and the dire events that follow. The film also uses startling footage shot by the brazen pimps themselves giving a rare glimpse into how the cycle of street life begins for many women.

The film identifies hope for these girls in the organization GEMS (Girls Education and Mentoring Services), a recovery center founded and run by Rachel Lloyd, herself a survivor of sexual exploitation. She and her staff are heroic and relentless in their mission to help girls sent by the court or found on the street. Given a chance to piece their lives back together, many will teeter on edge of two different worlds consistently battling the force that will suck them back into the underground.

Very Young Girls’ unprecedented access to girls and pimps will change the way law enforcement, the media and society as a whole look at sexual exploitation, street prostitution and the human trafficking that is happening right in our own backyard.

Curated by Hellura Lyle

Post-Screening Q&A with:

Jennifer Park, Girls Are Not For Sale Campaign Coordinator, Girls Education & Mentoring Services (GEMS)

Jazz in Focus: Presented with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem

Performances by Musicians in the Savory Collection

Includes performances by Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, John Kirby, Ella Fitzgerald, Art Tatum.

Reception sponsored by Sugar Hill Ale


I Got the Blues in Austin

Dir. Richard Jernigan and Ellen Spiro, 2010, 26 mins.

I Got the Blues in Austin, with Chris Jagger and John Peyton is a spin-off of their nationally syndicated radio show The Blueseum of Fine Art. Chris and John take 93 year old blues legend and Muddy Waters' pianist Pinetop Perkins to see the Rolling Stones and brother Mick Jagger backstage at the Stones show at Zilker Park in Austin where they reveal stories from the heydays of Chicago blues. Stones' keyboardist and music director, Chuck Leavell and Pinetop jam backstage. Long time Howlin Wolf guitarist, Hubert Sumlin remembers playing with the Stones at Madison Square Garden on Let It Bleed. Miss Lavelle White sings the first song she ever learned. Young guitarist virtuoso Lucas Martin plays Freddie King. Legendary Jimmie Vaughan and Chris talk about their brothers Stevie Ray and Mick as only they can. Texas favorite, Joe Ely tells of his move from Lubbock to Austin. Tommy Shannon and Chris Layton of Double Trouble recount the tragic day their front man Stevie Ray Vaughan died and blues aficionados Derek O'Brien and Susan Antone help pave the way.

Q & A with Chris Jagger, John Peyton and John Paul DeJoria.

Live Blues set with surprise musical guests! Reception sponsored by Sugar Hill Ale!

Keeling’s Caribbean Showcase

Cop And A Bad Man

Dir. Trenten W. Gumbs, 2010, 73 min.

The Jamaican government sends Detective Colonel Stevens (Leo Wilson) to Oakland, California to locate, capture and return three escaped criminals and return the Queen’s stolen jewels. From the producers of Rude Boy and Gangsta’s Paradise comes the greatest Jamaican action comedy of all-time! Directed by Trenten W. Gumbs, Cop, and a Bad Man is sure to have you rolling with laughter one minute and clutching your seat the next.

Curated by Keeling Beckford of Keeling’s Reggae Music and Videos


Jock Docs: Running

Curated by Laura Coxson


The Flashettes

Dir. Bonnie Friedman, 1977, 20 min.

The Flashettes concerns the story of a man who returns to his neighborhood in Bedford-Stuyvesant and decides that the best way to deal with the growing problems of alcoholism, drugs and teenage pregnancies is to start a track team for young girls ages six to sixteen. Through rigorous training and discipline, he is able to foster discipline, pride, and self-confidence where it is so sorely needed. The team becomes a second family of sorts for the young girls and by the end of the film when the girls journey to compete for the city-wide meet on Randall's  Island the audience is moved as much by the girls' undeniable prowess as runners and athletes as by their new found sense of belonging and self- esteem."An exciting and moving film that has something to say to everyone about women and sports, pain and exhilaration, the individual and society. See it."

- Womensports Magazine


Run For Your Life

Dir: Judd Ehrlich, 2008, 90 min.

Back in the '60s, the New York Road Runners Club was just a small group of men who ran on the streets of the Bronx. It took one eccentric first-generation Jewish immigrant from Transylvania to turn the NYRR into the largest organization of its kind in the world. Fred Lebow (the erstwhile Fischl Lebowitz) brought the runners to Central Park, where the first New York City Marathon was held in 1970. By the next year New York had two-thirds more runners than the Boston Marathon. But that was just the start for Lebow. Before "event marketing," when corporate sponsorship was in its infancy, Lebow was cutting deals, getting Playboy bunnies to race in the first women's mini-marathon, and helping to feed the growing popularity of running as a social activity. But it was the 26-mile, five-borough marathon, first held in 1976 during the city's financial crisis, that cemented Lebow's legacy. With a flair for showmanship, Lebow leveraged every opportunity, even the 1980 transit strike, to promote the benefits of running. He also faced scandals, including the Rosie Ruiz incident and revelations that he had paid athletes under the table. With New York City Marathon winners Bill Rodgers, Alberto Salazar, and Grete Waitz on hand, as well as many of Lebow's former colleagues, filmmaker Judd Ehrlich (the Emmy-nominated Mayor of the West Side) takes an affectionate look at a New York hero who inspired runners worldwide to go the distance. Fred Lebow's story is the story of the New York Marathon, a scrappy race around Central Park that evolved into a five-borough event that attracts thousands of runners from around the world. --Nancy Schafer, Co-Executive Director, Tribeca Film Festival

After the Screening: Conversation with Judd Ehrlich, Director of "Run For Your Life", Allan Steinfeld - former head of nyrr/marathon who took over when Fred Lebow passed away and Peter Roth former treasurer of NYRR

Faux Real: Truth-telling in Narrative Film- The Sweet Smell of Success

Dir. Alexander Mackendrick, 1957, 96 min.

Tyrannical gossip columnist J.J. Hunsceker  (Burt Lancaster) rules the roost amidst New York City’s mid-century fame game. Sidney Falco, played by the late, great Tony Curtis (1925-2010), is Hunsceker’s sidekick as well as a hustling publicist consumed by desperate ambition. Hunsceker is determined to prevent his sister from marrying Steve Dallas, a jazz musician, and employs Falco to break up the affair by any means necessary. One of the most real films the Hollywood machine ever churned out.

Inside Buffalo

Dir. Fred Kuwornu, 2010, 60 min.

Inside Buffalo, tells the story of the 92nd Buffalo Division, the all African American segregated combat unit that fought with outstanding heroism in Italy during the Second World War. This 60 minute documentary recounts a critically important piece of African American history and places it squarely within the context of Civil Rights history. The "Buffalo Soldiers," were men who valiantly fought two wars at the same time; one against the Nazis, the other against racial discrimination. Those who survived found that their contributions went unnoticed upon their return to United Stated of America. Director Fred Kuwornu, an Italian filmmaker of African heritage, searches out little-known aspects of the story, including details of the friendships forged between African American soldiers and the Italian partisan fighters and villagers they liberated from fascist rule. It was a 2009 meeting with Spike Lee – who was shooting Miracle at St. Anna on location in Tuscany -- that inspired Kuwornu to start this very personal voyage of discovery culminating in the powerful documentary. The last living African American soldier awarded the Medal of Honor in WWII, Vernon Baker, recounts vividly his war-time experiences and the heroism of his unit. The film also includes a special courtesy appearance by President Barack Obama! Inside Buffalo is a patchwork of stories that history almost forgot to tell until now.

Followed by a Q&A with dir. Fred Kuwornu

Harlem Homegrown: Election Day Special!

Slap the Donkey

Dir. Edward J. Harris, 2009, 79 min.

Narrated by actor Danny Glover, "Slap the Donkey" takes a critical look at Black politics at the start of the 21st century while tracking Al Sharpton's 2004 bid for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States of America. The documentary features commentary from various members of the Democratic Party such as George McGovern and Sen. Joe Lieberman as well as well known figures in the African American community such as Dr. Cornel West, Dr. Ron Daniels, and Herb Boyd.

Q&A with dir. Edward J. Harris and Executive Producer and Comedian Doug E. Doug and Election Returns viewing party sponsored by Sugar Hill Ale!

Jock Docs: Basketball

Presented by Bobbito Garcia

“Sneaker Night”

The Mystery of Flying Kicks

Dir. Matthew Bate, 2009, Run. 14 min

The Mystery of Flying Kicks tries to solve the mystery of why it is hard to avoid seeing sneakers on power lines in almost all urban areas.  Made completely from donated photographs, video, phoned in theories, artwork, and animation The Mystery of Flying Kicks tries to find the truth of why shoes always end up on telephone wires.


Air Force 1: Anatomy of an Urban Legend

Dir. Thibaut de Longeville, Run. 75 min

Before the 1980’s basketball shoes were so uncomfortable that players had to wear more than one pair of socks for cushioning.  Then the Nike Air Force One’s came out and started a new era in basketball and shoes.  This documentary tells the story of how one pair of shoes swept the nation and went from being a shoe worn only on basketball courts to a shoe that people collect and wear every single day.


Special Guests: Anthony Gilbert, Kool Bob Love

Jock Docs, a monthly series is curated by Laura Coxson


Jock Docs: Playground Basketball

Presented by Bobbito Garcia

“NYC Playground”


Heart & Soul of New York City

Dir. Kevin Couliau, 2010, 5 minutes

French director Kevin Couliau spent the summer of 2009 in the five boroughs of New York City to track down streetball legends and the most famous streetball courts of all time so he could capture what streetball is all about.  With great visuals this film shows streetballing at its best in The Cage to Goat Park and much more.



 1979, 89minutes, filmmaker Anthony Jones

The American Game is a 1979 documentary film directed by Jay Freund and David Wolf contrasting the experiences of two high-school seniors, basketball players from remarkably different backgrounds.  Brian Walker is taken from his close-knit Indiana family, living in a small town. In contrast, Stretch Graham has practically no family support, and looks to his Brooklyn team and his warm-hearted coach for support.


Asphalt Phenoms of New York City—The Lost Years

Dir. Dorian Graham, 45 minutes

Directed by ex-streetballer, Dorian Graham, Asphalt Phenoms of New York City—The Lost Years tells the story of the game of streetball before it was taken over by And-1 and other corporate sponsors.  This film goes deep into the culture of streetball during hot summers in the late 80’s to show what streetball was all about before it became a worldwide craze with interviews from two-time NBA champion Kenny “The Jet” Smith and more.


Special Guests: Dorian Graham, Kool Bob Love (Bobbito), Derek Lawson (producer), players: Anthony Hargraves, Speedy Williams, Ron Matthias “The Terminator”


Jock Docs: Playground Basketball

Presented by Bobbito Garcia

“EBC @ Rucker Park”

MTV’s Harlem Hoops

Producer: Jac Benson, 2003, 43 min.

The Entertainers Basketball Classic is the biggest streetball tournament in the world.  It’s where NBA stars such as Shawn Marion, Baron Davis and Kobe Byrant can unleash moves that have never been seen in an NBA arena and play with streetball legends such as Adrian “A Whole Lotta Game” Walton and Steve “All Day” Burtt.  Hip Hop moguls such as Fat Joe, Ja Rule, and Irv Gotti all have teams and will do anything to make their team better every year no matter the cost.



Leon Gast, 2003, 10 min.

A short excerpt about Pro Rucker legend Joe "The Destroyer" Hammond, considered by many to be the best scorer New York City has ever produced, even after turning down an NBA contract from the 1971-'72 Los Angeles Lakers (who went on to break the league record for most regular season wins and won the championship).


On Hallowed Ground: Streetball Champions of Rucker Park

Dir. Kip & Korn, 2000, Run. 90 min

On Hallowed Ground follows the reigning champions of the Entertainers Basketball Classic, held at Rucker Park, who are sponsored by Bad Boys Records.  While the film focus’s on this team of amateurs filled with dazzling showmen such as “The Future”, “Half-Man Half-Amazing”, “Up North”, and “The Main Event” it also goes deeper into the history of Rucker Park and the NBA stars and legends who have played there before such as Wilt Chamberlain, Julius “Dr. Jay” Erving, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Special Guests: Anthony Heyward Jr. (aka Biz, 1/2Man 1/2 Amazin’), Greg Marius (founder of the EBC Tournament)

Jock Docs: Playground Basketball

Presented by Bobbito Garcia

“International Night”

Le Tournoi du Quai 54

Dir. Thibault de Longeville, 2006

One of France’s biggest streetball tournament is Le Tournoi du Quai.  All the great streetballers in France show up for this tournament and even some NBA players and professional players from France.  Even former L.A. Laker and current New York Knick Ronnie Turiaf and Charlotte Bobcat Boris Diaw share there thoughts on streetball in France.


Hoop Hop Tour Japan

Dir. John Jay, 25 minutes


My Game

Dir. Carlos Ledesma, 2007, 64 min.

My Game is about basketball in the Philippines and their most talented and respected players.  Director Carlos Ledesma spent a month with six of these players to find out more about where they are in their lives, where they are going and the culture of basketball in the Philippines.


The Forces Behind the Gentrification of Harlem

Plunder: The Crime of Our Time

Danny Schechter, 2009, 100 mins.

Plunder is a hard-hitting investigative film by Danny Schechter. The “News Dissector” explores how the financial crisis was built on a foundation of criminal activity uncovering the connection between the collapse of the housing market and the economic catastrophe that followed.


Rezoning Harlem

Dir. Natasha Florentino & Tamara Gubernat, 2008, 40 mins.

Rezoning Harlem follows longtime members of the Harlem community as they fight a 2008 rezoning that threatens to erase the history and culture of their legendary neighborhood and replace it with luxury housing, offices, and big-box retail. A shocking expose of how a group of ordinary citizens, who are passionate about the future of one the city's most treasured neighborhoods, are systematically shut out of the city's decision-making process, revealing New York City's broken public review system and provoking discussion on what we can do about it.


Panel with Nellie Bailey, Harlem Tenants Council. More speakers TBA.


Keeling’s Caribbean Showcase

Curated by Keeling Beckford of Keeling’s Reggae Music and Videos

Cop and a Badman

Dir. Trenten W. Gumbs, 2010, 73 min.

The Jamaican government sends Detective Colonel Stevens (Leo Wilson) to Oakland, California to locate, capture and return three escaped criminals and return the Queen’s stolen jewels...From the producers of “Rude Boy” and “Gangsta’s Paradise”, comes the greatest Jamaican action comedy of all-time! Directed by Trenten W. Gumbs, “Cop and a Badman” is sure to have you rolling with laughter one minute and clutching your seat the next.

Congo in Harlem 2

***Special Panel***

2:00 pm

Child Soldiers and Youth Leadership

A panel discussion about how youth leadership and entrepreneurship can have a positive impact on the lives of former child soldiers and young people affected by war. Confirmed speakers include Ishmael Beah (author A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier) and Jimmie Briggs (author Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go to War), and Kambale Musavuli (student coordinator and spokesperson for Friends of the Congo). Moderated by Priscillia Kounkou Hoveyda, co-founder of Now AfriCAN.

Co-Presented by Now AfriCAN



Katanga Business

Dir. Thierry Michel, 2009, 120min.

Set in one of the world's richest mining regions, Katanga Business is a riveting political and economic thriller that exposes some of the key actors in the scramble for Congo's natural wealth. The impoverished residents of Katanga are pitted against a motley collection of individuals and multinationals all vying for a piece of the action, including a Belgian entrepreneur known as "The King of Katanga", a Canadian CEO attempting to save an obsolete, state-run mine from bankruptcy; a Chinese businessman who just signed the mining contract of the century with the Congolese government; and a wealthy provincial governor, praised by the masses, who struggles to keep the situation from imploding.


Panel discussion with Peter Rosenblum (Professor of Human Rights Law at Columbia University) and special guests & closing night reception.

Congo in Harlem 2

L'Afrique En Morceaux / "Africa in Pieces"

Dir. Jihan El-Tahri, 2001, 100min.

A chronicle of DR Congo from 1994-2000, filmed at the height of the Second Congo War. With astonishing access to key political and military players in the conflict -- including Kabila, Kagame, Musaveni, and Kabarebe -- El-Tahri has created an essential historical document that remains as relevant today as it was nearly a decade ago. Africa in Pieces served as an important reference in the recently leaked UN mapping report, and it’s screening at Congo in Harlem will be the film’s first public showing in the US.



Discussion with filmmaker Jihan El-Tahri, Jason Stearns (Congo researcher/analyst and former coordinator of the UN Group of Experts), and a very special guest to be announced October 8th. Check back for details! Plus reception.

Co-Presented by The New York African Film Festival

Congo in Harlem 2

Le Clandestin / "The Stowaway"

Dir. Zéka Laplaine, 1996, 15min

An African stowaway attempts to elude a tenacious police officer in a short burlesque film that sets the serious issue of illegal immigration against a comic backdrop.

Pushing the Elephant

Dir. Beth Davenport and Elizabeth Mandel, 2010, 91min.

"An intimate family drama set against the backdrop of the 1998 conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pushing the Elephant tells the story of Rose Mapendo, who was separated during the conflict from her five-year-old daughter, Nangabire. Rose survived the atrocities of those years and was eventually resettled in Phoenix, Arizona, with her other children. Now, after 12 years apart, Rose and her daughter Nangabire are reunited in the US. Through the story of their reunion, we come to understand the excruciating decisions Rose made in order to survive and the complex difficulties Nangabire faces as a refugee in the US—torn between her painful past and a hopeful future." - Human Rights Watch Film Festival

Congo in Harlem 2

Jazz Mama

Dir. Petna Katondolo, 2010, 30 min.

How do you talk about rape in a place where basic human rights are systematically violated? Katondolo skirts the boundaries of reality and fiction, offering a compelling portrait of Congolese women who stand strong in their communities and denounce the violence they experience.

Weapon of War

Dir. Isle and Femke Van Velzen, 2009, 59 min.

An ex-soldier attempts to reconcile his past by seeking forgiveness from a woman he raped, and a pastor in the Congolese army confronts perpetrators of rape urging them to change, just a he did.


Discussion with Dr. Roger Luhiri (human rights advocate and former fistula doctor at Panzi Hospital), Jocelyn Kelly (gender-based violence Research Coordinator with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative) and Dr. Lee Ann De Reus (President of the Board of Directors of Panzi Hospital Foundation).