Race in America: The Black Experience

Sponsored by William A. Kerr Foundation, with support from Africa World Documentary Film Festival (International Studies and Programs at University of Missouri-St. Louis), Clark-Fox Family Foundation, and Wells Fargo Advisors

ACORN and the Firestorm

Sunday, November 5 at 4:15pm

If you felt doomed to being impoverished and politically voiceless, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) hoped to change your mind — and perhaps your life. For 40 years, the controversial community-organizing group sought to empower... Read more

Black Cop

Sunday, November 5 at 8:30pm

It’s not easy being a black cop: Your community doesn’t trust you, your colleagues are wary of you, and everyone assumes you hate NWA. And when the world is on edge waiting for a grand-jury verdict on a high-profile police case involving an unarmed youth, all eyes... Read more

The Blood Is at the Doorstep

Sunday, November 12 at 2:00pm

Offering a painfully realistic glimpse inside a movement born out of tragedy, “The Blood Is at the Doorstep” provides a behind-the-scenes look at one of America’s most pressing social issues. A roofer by day, Nate Hamilton juggled community college and fatherhood... Read more

A Chance in the World

Monday, November 6 at 7:00pm
Tuesday, November 7 at 9:15pm

“A Chance in the World” tells the true story of Steve Pemberton, a wounded and broken boy destined to become a man of resilience and vision. From the day 5-year-old Steve is dropped off at his foster home, he suffers mental and physical abuse at the hands of... Read more

Chuck Berry Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll

Sunday, November 5 at 1:30pm

When St. Louis native Chuck Berry died earlier this year, the entire world mourned the passing of the rock ’n’ roll pioneer. SLIFF pays tribute to the legendary songwriter, singer, and guitarist with a screening of “Chuck Berry Hail! Hail! Rock ’n’ Roll,” which... Read more

Copwatch

Sunday, November 5 at 1:00pm

In Ferguson, Michael Brown died after being shot by police. In New York, Eric Garner died after a chokehold by police. In Baltimore, Freddie Gray died being transported by police. The names of these men have been burned into our public consciousness, and the... Read more

Cradle of Champions

Sunday, November 5 at 4:00pm

Made with a dream team of documentary talent — the crew’s past films include “Citizenfour,” “Cameraperson,” “Queen of Versailles,” “Racing Dreams,” and “Cartel Land” — “Cradle of Champions” captures the epic story of three young people fighting for their lives in... Read more

Doc Shorts: Queer Life

Sunday, November 12 at 3:30pm
A slice of the lives of trans and queer people.

For Ahkeem

Saturday, November 11 at 7:00pm

Beginning one year before the fatal police shooting of a black teenager in nearby Ferguson, “For Ahkeem” is the coming-of-age story of Daje Shelton, a black 17-year-old girl in North St. Louis. She fights for her future as she is placed in an alternative high... Read more

I Am Evidence

Wednesday, November 8 at 6:30pm

A powerful indictment of the criminal-justice system’s seeming indifference to the crime of rape, “I Am Evidence” exposes the shockingly large number of untested rape kits in the United States today. Despite the power of DNA to solve and prevent crimes, hundreds... Read more

In the Heat of the Night

Sunday, November 12 at 1:30pm

As timely and relevant as it was in 1967 — an especially fraught time in the civil-rights movement, when American cities were riven by race riots — “In the Heat of the Night” celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. An Oscar® winner as Best Picture, the film was... Read more

Jackson

Sunday, November 5 at 3:00pm

“Jackson” is an intimate, unprecedented look at the lives of three women caught up in the complex issues surrounding abortion access: Shannon Brewer, the director of Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi; Barbara... Read more

Marvin Booker Was Murdered

Friday, November 10 at 7:00pm

On July 9, 2010, Marvin Booker, a homeless street preacher with mental-health issues, was killed by five sheriff deputies while being booked into the Denver Detention Center. The event was caught on tape and witnessed by more than 20 people. Yet the city of Denver... Read more

Mr. Handy's Blues

Sunday, November 5 at 7:00pm

“Mr. Handy’s Blues” chronicles the life of William Christopher (aka W. C.) Handy, known worldwide as the Father of the Blues. Handy’s trajectory to success is an against-all-odds odyssey that took him from a strict religious home in Northern Alabama, to a low... Read more

Narrative Shorts: Horror & Sci-Fi

Friday, November 10 at 10:00pm
A mash-up of genre films that explore the future or provoke scares.

Narrative Shorts: Mixed Emotions

Tuesday, November 7 at 7:30pm
Dramatic shorts that take you around the world and through the wringer.

Narrative Shorts: Music

Saturday, November 4 at 3:45pm
Music is an essential component of these shorts.

Nat Bates for Mayor

Saturday, November 11 at 1:00pm

“Nat Bates for Mayor” tells the story of the outrageous 2014 mayor's race in Richmond, home to the second-largest refinery in California. In a brazen move, Chevron spends more than $3 million to back 83-year-old African-American stalwart Nat Bates. Bates makes a... Read more

Never Been a Time

Sunday, November 5 at 7:30pm

“Never Been a Time” uses the 1917 East St. Louis race riot to unpack hidden facts that reveal the complexity of racism in all of America. The film links events separated by as much as a 100 years and as few as 20 miles, tracing the line between the East St. Louis... Read more

Palacios

Saturday, November 11 at 2:00pm

Eugene (Olajuwon Davis), a black inner-city teen, escapes the streets and hides away on a Midwest city rooftop during the Fourth of July holiday. He is found by Holly (Libby Bibb), a widowed alcoholic, who lives in the secluded rooftop dwelling with her Boston... Read more

Priced Out

Saturday, November 4 at 1:00pm

At a time of skyrocketing racial and class tensions in America, “Priced Out” is an investigative and personal look at how housing prices are displacing Portland's black community and working families all across the city. The documentary explores the complexities... Read more

River to the Heart

Saturday, November 4 at 1:00pm

Former St. Louisan Eddy L. Harris is the author of the lauded travel book “Mississippi Solo” (1988), which chronicled his canoe trip down the length of the Mississippi River, from its headwaters in Minnesota to its terminus in the Gulf of Mexico. In “River to the... Read more

Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me

Saturday, November 4 at 7:30pm

“Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me” is the first major documentary to examine Davis’ vast talent and his journey for identity through the shifting tides of civil rights and racial progress during 20th-century America. As Davis once stated: “I’m Puerto Rican,... Read more

SLIFF/Kids Family Shorts 2

Saturday, November 11 at 12:00pm
Our second SLIFF/Kids program — perfect for ages 8-12 — features films that are both fun and educational.

St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase Sampler

Monday, November 6 at 7:30pm
A selection of the best films from the 2017 St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase.

Street Fighting Men

Saturday, November 11 at 3:30pm

In a rapidly changing America where mass inequality and dwindling opportunity have devastated the black working class, three Detroit men must fight to build something lasting for themselves and future generations. “Street Fighting Men,” which celebrates dogged... Read more

Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities

Friday, November 3 at 7:30pm

“Tell Them We Are Rising” explores the pivotal role that historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have played in American history, culture, and national identity. Today, more than half of all African-American professionals are graduates of HBCUs. The... Read more

Title VII

Friday, November 10 at 7:00pm

She’s powerful, black, and female. But at her firm, blacks need not apply. The highly successful Hillary Kelsey (Chicava Honeychild) is the CEO of Sanger International, an IT consulting firm. Kelsey is a black woman with no black employees, and no one can figure... Read more

True Conviction

Sunday, November 5 at 4:00pm

Christopher Scott was released from prison after serving 13 years of a life sentence for a murder he didn’t commit. That nightmare scenario is far too common: More than 30 people like Chris have been exonerated in Dallas County, Texas. Most of them are black men... Read more

Waking the Sleeping Giant: The Making of a Political Revolution

Saturday, November 11 at 7:30pm

“Waking the Sleeping Giant” chronicles the building of a 21st-century progressive movement in the United States. Against the backdrop of an extraordinary 2016 presidential race, five remarkable individuals wrestle with persistent racial injustice, growing economic... Read more

Whose Streets?

Sunday, November 12 at 6:00pm

Told by the activists and leaders who live and breathe the Black Lives Matter movement for justice, “Whose Streets?” is an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising. When unarmed teenager Michael Brown is killed by police and left lying in the street for hours, it... Read more

Working in Protest

Sunday, November 5 at 7:00pm

Filmmakers Suki Hawley and Michael Galinsky have documented protests for more than 30 years. “Working in Protest” collects footage they’ve captured over those decades, offering a largely chronological compilation of protests from both the right and the left: Klan... Read more