Mean Streets: Viewing the Divided City Through the Lens of Film and Television

Sponsored by Center for the Humanities at Washington University

Mean Streets is supported by The Divided City: An Urban Humanities Initiative. With the support of the Mellon Foundation, Washington U.’s Center for the Humanities is engaged in an initiative called The Divided City, which addresses one of the most persistent and vexing issues in urban studies: segregation.

12th and Clairmount

Saturday, November 10 at 4:00pm

In July 1967, Detroit experienced one of America’s most violent civil disturbances. To tell that story in an emblematic way, this film — produced by the Detroit Free Press — fuses illustrations with rare archival footage from the era, including newsreel,... Read more

Bisbee '17

Wednesday, November 7 at 7:30pm

“Bisbee ’17” — by Sundance award-winning director Robert Greene, who teaches documentary at the University of Missouri — is set in Bisbee, Ariz., an eccentric old mining town just miles away from both Tombstone and the Mexican border. Radically combining... Read more

Capturing the Flag

Saturday, November 10 at 7:30pm

“Capturing the Flag” chronicles the efforts of three old friends — Laverne Berry, Steven Miller, and Claire Wright — who in the fall of 2016 travel from New York to North Carolina to do voter-protection work at the polls. Laverne and Steve have been volunteering... Read more

The Color of Medicine: The Story of Homer G. Phillips Hospital

Saturday, November 3 at 7:30pm

“The Color of Medicine” traces the rise and fall of St. Louis’ premier black hospital, Homer G. Phillips, which at one point in time trained the largest number of black doctors and nurses in the world. The film chronicles the unique history of the medical training... Read more

Crime + Punishment

Friday, November 2 at 7:30pm

Amid a landmark class-action lawsuit over illegal policing quotas, “Crime + Punishment” chronicles the real lives and struggles of a group of black and Latino whistleblower cops and the young minorities they are pressured to arrest in New York City. With... Read more

Doc Shorts: Black Voices

Sunday, November 11 at 6:30pm
A diverse chorus of black voices addresses subjects both local and national.

Father's Kingdom

Sunday, November 11 at 1:00pm

In the early 1900s, an African-American man named Reverend M.J. Divine — the son of emancipated slaves — began a religious movement that would reach more than a million followers at its peak, crossing racial divisions and advocating for gender and economic... Read more

The Jazz Ambassadors

Saturday, November 3 at 4:00pm

In 1956, America announced a new Cold War weapon to combat the U.S.S.R.: Jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, and Dave Brubeck, along with their racially integrated bands, would cross the globe to counter negative Soviet... Read more

The Long Shadow

Sunday, November 4 at 6:00pm

When filmmaker and investigative journalist Frances Causey, a daughter of the South, set out to explore the continuing racial divisions in the U.S., what she discovered was that the politics of slavery didn’t end with the Civil War. In an astonishingly candid look... Read more

Man on Fire

Saturday, November 3 at 4:00pm

​Grand Saline, Texas, a town east of Dallas, has a disturbing history of racism — a legacy that the community prefers not to talk about. This shroud of secrecy ended when Charles Moore, an elderly white preacher, self-immolated to protest the town’s racism in 2014... Read more

Naila and the Uprising

Saturday, November 10 at 4:00pm

Using evocative animation, intimate interviews, and exclusive archival footage, “Naila and the Uprising” brings out of anonymity the courageous women who shook the Israeli occupation and put Palestinians on the map for the first time. “Naila and the Uprising”... Read more

Owned: A Tale of Two Americas

Saturday, November 3 at 1:00pm

“Owned” is a fever-dream vision into the dark history behind the U.S. housing economy. Tracking its overtly racist beginnings to its unbridled commoditization, the documentary exposes a foundational story few Americans understand as their own. In 2008, the U.S.... Read more

The Pushouts

Saturday, November 10 at 4:00pm

“I was in prison before I was even born.” So begins the story of Dr. Victor Rios, who, by 15, was a high-school dropout and gang member with three felony convictions and a death wish. But when a teacher's quiet persistence, mentor Martin Flores' moral conviction,... Read more

Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland

Sunday, November 4 at 4:30pm

In 2015, Sandra Bland, a politically active 28-year-old black woman from Chicago, was arrested for a traffic violation in a small Texas town. Three days later, Sandra was found hanging from a noose in her jail cell. Though ruled a suicide, her death sparked... Read more

The Sentence

Friday, November 9 at 7:00pm

First-time filmmaker Rudy Valdez’s “The Sentence” — which won an Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival — offers a searing look at the consequences of mandatory minimum sentencing. The documentary tells the story of his sister Cindy Shank, a mother... Read more

Where the Pavement Ends

Saturday, November 3 at 2:30pm

“Where the Pavement Ends” explores the charged relationship between the historically all-black town of Kinloch and its formerly all-white neighbor Ferguson. Kinloch is now essentially a ghost town, emptied of almost all of its residents when the nearby Lambert... Read more