BlackStar 2018: Documentary Overview

The 7th BlackStar Film Festival

August 2-5

This Philadelphia-based event showcases films by black people from around the world. In addition to a robust shorts lineup, the festival presents 15 new features, nine documentaries among them.


US premieres include Oliver Hardt’s THE BLACK MUSEUM, about Washington DC’s National Museum of African American History and Culture; and Gessica Généus’ DOUVAN JOU KA LEVE, a personal exploration of religion and mental illness in Haiti; while Kurt Orderson’s NOT IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD, about gentrification in New York, São Paulo, and Cape Town, makes its East Coast premiere.


Remaining docs, making their local premieres, are: Sam Pollard and Melissa Haizlip’s MR SOUL!, about the pioneer behind the African American public television cultural variety show SOUL!; Assia Boundaoui’s THE FEELING OF BEING WATCHED, in which the filmmaker investigates the FBI surveillance of her Arab-American community; Khalik Allah’s BLACK MOTHER, an essay offering a meditation on Jamaican identity, history, and spirituality; Amanda Kopp and Aaron Kopp’s LIYANA, in which orphans in Swaziland collectively construct an adventure story; Keith McQuirter’s MILWAUKEE 53206, a portrait of the community with the country’s highest rate of incarcerated African-American men; and Sifiso Khanyile’s UPRIZE!, on South African student protests against Apartheid in the 1970s.


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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Overviews, Recommendations

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