In connection with the exhibition of Gordon Parks’ photographs under the title “I use my camera as a weapon”, showing at Wrocław Contemporary Museum from 2 June to 21 August, we would like to invite you to a series of film screenings about subjects raised by the famous Afro-American photographer. We are going to present six very different feature films and four “Lectures on Deckchairs” – meetings on the museum roof involving free conversations about selected topics.

Parks’ work triggers questions and reflections about the situation of black people in America throughout decades: How did their position change during the transition from slavery to the civil rights movement, and how did American artists comment on it? When was Griffith’s racist “The Birth of a Nation” finally discredited? What Hollywood stories replaced it, and what roles were black actors given? This short overview will serve as an illustration of past transformations. However, we will also take into account the fact that although the position of African-Americans has improved, some groups, such as Latinos, are still subject to social exclusion. Join us on this filmic journey so that we can together discuss these problems and compare them with the European idea of multiculturalism and social differentiation, which is currently in crisis in spite of many years of popularisation.

On 22 June, 29 June, 6 July and 13 July at 7 pm there will be “Lectures on Deckchairs” on the museum roof. Their subjects will be connected with the contents of the films. They are intended to broaden the context and make the issues raised in the presented films more specific. The first lecture, concerning the image of African-Americans in Hollywood films, will be delivered by Marta Wróbel (host of the blog “Black America” and cultural journalist). In the following week, we will meet with Marta Malinowska, a journalist who runs the programme “Rhythm of the Street” in Radio Wrocław Kultura. She will talk about the fascination of the main stream with a culture whose origins can be traced back to poor black naighbourhoods. In July, we will focus on races and groups that are currently discriminated against in the USA, and then – on a multicultural vision of the world.

Cinema on the Roof: “School of Babel”, dir. Julie Bertucelli, France 2014, 89′
16.07, 9:30 PM, terrace on the roof of MWW

Twenty-four students from twenty-four countries in one class. They have come to France from all over the world, hoping to live a better life. Some of them came for economic reasons, others were forced to leave their countries because of politics (a boy of Jewish origins who did not fit in in Serbia). Different mother tongues, different skin colours, different religions – this is a real “School of Babel.” They are going to spend the first year learning French, but also learning to be with each other and overcome the barrier of otherness.
Fragment of Zdzisław Pietrasik’s review

Opening (Shelter Cinema): 7.06, 6 PM | “Shaft”, dir. Gordon Parks, USA 1971, 100′

Cinema on the Roof:

18.06, 9 PM | “12 Years a Slave”, dir. Steve Mc Queen, USA 2013, 133′

2.07, 9:30 PM | “Soul Power”, dir. Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte, USA 2008, 93′

9.07, 9:30 PM | “The Golden Dream”, dir. Diego Quemada-Diez, Spain/Mexico/Guatemala 2013, 110′

16.07, 9:30 PM | “School of Babel”, dir. Julie Bertucelli, France 2014, 89′

Closing (Shelter Cinema): 19.07, 6 PM | “Malcolm X”, dir. Spike Lee, 1992, 202′

*admission to all the events is free
**in order to see the films, you must collect a free ticket (limited number of seats). Free tickets will be available at MWW ticket office on the screening day
***in case of bad weather, the films will be shown at the Shelter Cinema on the first floor of the museum

Curator of the film cycle: Lech Moliński
Curator of MWW public programme: Bartek Lis