By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J., Chicago Crusader
The African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) celebrates its 25th anniversary with a total of 64 films from 31 countries, including 31 World, U.S. and New York premieres. Screenings will be held in three venues in Manhattan: Teachers College, Columbia University, Cinema Village and MIST Harlem.
The Last Revolutionary” by Michael Brewer (USA, 2017, 75 minutes) has been selected to Open ADIFF 2017. The film depicts two Black men who came together as revolutionaries in the 1970s but whose lives took very different paths. They meet again in a Los Angeles throwback hideout during Obama’s presidency and debate and argue around how to best stop the ongoing attacks from the far right and racist groups around the country.
Reviewer Carine Fabius of the Huffington Post writes: “The Last Revolutionary is a powerful film, whose lasting effect sneaks up on you like a hand grenade loaded with vision. It starts out light and humorous and ends with a sucker punch to the stomach.
“The Last Revolutionary” is one of several films in the festival that deal with issues of social justice, activism and police brutality, issues that have been for a long time and continue to be of great concern to communities of colors worldwide.
Going back into history are films like “Malcolm X: An Overwhelming Influence On The Black Power Movement!” to have its world premiere in ADIFF 2017; “Winnie,” the award-winning Sundance documentary about Winnie Mandela; “Mama Africa: Miriam Makeba” about the South African singer and activist Miriam Makeba, and “Barrow: Freedom Fighter” about the man who led the struggle for Barbados independence after 300 years of British colonialism.
Addressing contemporary concerns are “Black Cop,” a searing political satire about a Black cop who seeks revenge after being egregiously profiled and assaulted by his colleagues. This film recently screened at the Chicago International Film Festival. “Silas” about a committed environmental activist from Liberia fighting against land grabbing and environmental destruction in his country. “The Valley of the Black Descendants” is a documentary about Chileans of African descent fighting to get official recognition from a State that has concealed their culture and African identity for more than 200 years.
“Who do we want in the seats?” The Last Revolutionary director Brewer says: “Anyone who is progressive and sees the need for change. The Last Revolutionary touches on many issues that are happening in the country (and asks): How have things really changed?”
“After 25 years of existence, the African Diaspora International Film Festival brings powerful films to New York that touch on many issues that are still very relevant today,” says Dr. Reinaldo B. Spech, Co-Director and Chief Curator of ADIFF. “The Last Revolutionary was the perfect film to open our 25th edition. It takes us full circle.”
For more information about the 25th Annual African Diaspora International Film Festival, visit festival website: www.nyadiff.org.
The African Diaspora International Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization.
The 25th Annual New York African Diaspora International Film Festival is made possible thanks to the support of the following institutions and individuals: ArtMattan Productions; the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Affairs, Teachers College, Columbia University; The Harlem Community Development Corporation, the New York City Council in the Arts; L’ International Organization Of La Francophonie New York, New York City Council Member Bill Perkins; The Guadeloupe Islands Tourist Board, TV5 Monde, The Urban Movie Chanel (UMC), The South African Tourist Office, Ethiopian Airlines, The Délégation générale du Québec à New York, Columbia University Institute for Research in African-American Studies, Consulate General of Barbados at New York and WBAI. ADIFF is a proud member of the Harlem Arts Alliance.
About the African Diaspora International Film Festival:
Described by film critic Armond White as “A festival that symbolizes Diaspora as more than just anthropology,” ADIFF has managed to increase the presence of independent Afrocentric films from all over the world in the general American specialty movie scene by launching films such as “The Tracker” by Rolf de Heer (Australia), “Kirikou and the Sorceress” by Michel Ocelot (France), “Gospel Hill” by Giancarlo Esposito (USA), Darrat/“Dry Season” by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (Chad), “The First Rasta” by Helene Lee (France/Jamaica), ”The Story of Lovers Rock” by Menelik Shabazz (UK) Scheherazade, “Tell Me a Story” by Yousry Nasrallah (Egypt), and “The Pirogue” by Moussa Touré, among others.
Attracting a wide cross-section of cinephiles and audiences of African-American, Caribbean, African, Latino and European ethnic backgrounds who share a common interest for thought provoking, well crafted, intelligent and entertaining stories about the human experience of people of color, ADIFF is now a national and international event with festivals held in New York City, Chicago, Washington DC, and Paris, France. The Crusader has proudly co-sponsored the Chicago festival in recent years.