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Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
164 N State St, Chicago, Illinois 60601
Just before his execution, white abolitionist John Brown wrote, “I am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood.” In her new film, PURGE THIS LAND, L.A.-based filmmaker Lee Anne Schmitt uses Brown’s legacy to consider the long shadows of slavery and systemic, violent racism on the US’s psychic and physical landscape. She interweaves shots of rural back roads and urban centers throughout the country, memorializing the sites of Brown’s radicalization alongside those of race riots, police shootings, and other forms of white racial violence and black disenfranchisement over the last 150 years. Set to a score referencing the histories of black music by Jeff Parker, the film resists easy resolution, modeling resistance instead. DCP digital.
Lee Anne Schmitt and Jeff Parker are scheduled to appear for audience discussion.
Tickets & info: siskelfilmcenter.org/purgethisland