Within Our Gates
As part of our 25th-anniversary celebration, SLIFF reprises a special event from our 2009 edition by screening “Within Our Gates,” writer/director Oscar Micheaux’s impassioned response to D.W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation.” The film shines a revealing light on the racism of U.S. society, provocatively including scenes of lynching and attempted rape. Micheaux was a pioneering African-American filmmaker and novelist whose career stretched from the silent era through the 1940s. “Within Our Gates,” one of the oldest surviving “race” films, was thought lost until a print was discovered in Spain in 1990 and restored by the Library of Congress in 1992. This screening features a new restoration that offers an even more faithful approximation of the film as originally released. SLIFF has again invited Southern Illinois' Stace England & the Salt Kings to play the original score that the group created for our 2009 presentation. The band will also offer a few selections from its album “The Amazing Oscar Micheaux,” whose songs were inspired by the filmmaker’s life and work.