African American

Agents of Change

Friday, November 4 at 7:30pm

As the civil-rights, Black Power, and anti-Vietnam War movements made national headlines in the late 1960s, another, less-known struggle for inclusion was taking place on college campuses. Exemplified by protests at San Francisco State and Cornell University (with... Read more

Bob's Tour: Understanding What We See

Saturday, November 5 at 4:00pm

Washington University graduate Jun Bae profiles Bob Hansman, a beloved architecture professor at the school. In its portrait of a white man with a black son, the film provides an intimate look at Hansman and his insights into segregated St. Louis. The film follows... Read more

Camden: Love/Hate

Saturday, November 12 at 3:00pm

“Camden: Love/Hate” follows six teenagers from Camden, N.J., as they document the story of their city, from the glory days of the postwar boom to today’s violent and fraught reality. After learning filmmaking skills at a last-chance high school, the Camden Center... Read more

Chi-Raq

Friday, November 11 at 7:00pm

Spike Lee's modern-day adaptation of the ancient Greek play “Lysistrata” by Aristophanes, “Chi-Raq” is set against the backdrop of gang violence in Chicago. Beautiful Lysistrata (Teyonah Parris) is in love with aspiring rapper Demtrius “Chi-Raq” Dupree (Nick... Read more

Daughters of the Dust

Sunday, November 13 at 8:00pm

As a nod to our past on SLIFF’s 25th anniversary, the fest spotlights a freshly restored edition of “Daughters of the Dust.” Julie Dash’s widely hailed classic — the inspiration for Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” — helped inaugurate the fest in memorably grand fashion... Read more

Doc Shorts: Black Lives Matter

Saturday, November 12 at 7:00pm

Doc Shorts: Justice

Friday, November 4 at 5:05pm

Everything But a Man

Sunday, November 6 at 4:00pm

Vanessa is sexy, smart, successful … and still single. “Everything But a Man” follows the story of a lonely career woman who, despite all her material success, is a failure when it comes to love. The film explores the paradox many modern women face: Required to... Read more

Free Cece!

Saturday, November 12 at 2:30pm

On her way to the store with a group of friends, trans African-American woman Chrishaun Reed “CeCe” McDonald was verbally insulted — with both racial and trans-phobic slurs — and then brutally attacked outside a bar. In the altercation that followed, a man was... Read more

Gentlemen of Vision

Thursday, November 10 at 7:30pm

In the world of competitive stepping, the Gentlemen of Vision are the ones to beat. Offstage, the teen members of GOV — as the team is known — are growing up in the struggling working-class suburbs of St. Louis. Although GOV is based in Riverview Gardens, its... Read more

How to Tell You're a Douchebag

Wednesday, November 9 at 7:00pm

Debuting at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, this absolutely of-the-moment African-American romantic comedy tells the story of a misogynist who falls in love. Sexy, smart, and funny, “How to Tell You're a Douchebag” follows Brooklyn-based relationship blogger Ray... Read more

I Am the Blues

Friday, November 4 at 7:30pm

“I Am the Blues” celebrates the elder statesmen (and women) who continue to make music down in the Delta, from impromptu jams in living rooms to performances in grand concert halls. Embarking on a musical journey through the swamps of the Louisiana bayou, the juke... Read more

Killer of Sheep

Sunday, November 6 at 1:30pm

SLIFF honors legendary filmmaker Charles Burnett with a Lifetime Achievement Award and screens a pair of his finest works — “Killer of Sheep” and the new restoration of “To Sleep with Anger” (see separate film listing). Burnett’s “Killer of Sheep” focuses on... Read more

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise

Wednesday, November 9 at 7:30pm

“Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise” is the first feature documentary about the world-renowned writer, performer, and activist. This richly textured film provides a comprehensive look at Angelou’s life and work, including her St. Louis roots, her years in Ghana during... Read more

Milwaukee 53206

Sunday, November 13 at 12:00pm

The stories that “Milwaukee 53206” tells reflect a common way of life for millions of households across the nation — the tragic result of a uniquely American era of mass incarceration. The United States now has the most prisoners of any nation in the world, both... Read more

Narrative Shorts: Drama 1

Sunday, November 6 at 2:00pm

Night School

Saturday, November 5 at 1:00pm

“Night School” examines adult education and the dropout epidemic plaguing inner-city America. The film provides an inside look at a cutting-edge high school located in one of the most impoverished neighborhoods in America and the brave students who attend it.... Read more

The Nine

Saturday, November 12 at 6:30pm

“The Nine” is an intimate and unflinching portrait of a ravaged community living on Modesto's South Ninth Street — "The Nine” — a barren, forgotten street in California’s Great Central Valley (the setting for “The Grapes of Wrath” and Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant... Read more

No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson

Sunday, November 6 at 7:00pm

On Valentine's Day 1993, 17-year-old Bethel High School basketball star Allen Iverson was bowling in Hampton, Va., with five high-school friends. It was supposed to be an ordinary evening, but it became a night that defined Iverson's young life. A quarrel soon... Read more

Off the Rails

Saturday, November 5 at 1:00pm

“Off the Rails” tells the remarkable true story of Darius McCollum, a man with Asperger’s syndrome whose overwhelming love of transit has landed him in jail 32 times for impersonating New York City bus drivers and subway conductors and driving their routes. As a... Read more

Olympic Pride, American Prejudice

Sunday, November 6 at 2:45pm

In 1936, 18 African-American athletes — dubbed the “black auxiliary” by Hitler — participated in the Berlin Olympic Games, defying Nazi Aryan supremacy and Jim Crow racism. Despite their achievements, history forgot all except one, Jesse Owens. “Olympic Pride,... Read more

Out of the Box: Ending the Cycle of Incarceration

Friday, November 4 at 7:30pm

In the spring of 2000, the federal judges of the Eastern District of Missouri selected Doug Burris as the new chief probation officer and charged him with reversing a potentially dangerous trend: At the time, the district exceeded by 30 percent the national... Read more

The Prison in Twelve Landscapes

Saturday, November 12 at 4:30pm

An essential documentary, Brett Story’s incisive and wide-ranging “The Prison in Twelve Landscapes” critically examines the prison system and its place — social, economic, and psychological — in American society. More people are imprisoned in the United States... Read more

The Pruitt-Igoe Myth

Sunday, November 6 at 12:00pm

It began as a housing marvel. Two decades later, it ended in rubble. But what happened to those caught in between? “The Pruitt-Igoe Myth” tells the story of the transformation of the American city in the decades after World War II, through the lens of the infamous... Read more

Raising Bertie

Friday, November 11 at 7:30pm

“Raising Bertie” is an intimate portrait of three African-American boys coming of age in rural North Carolina. Set in Bertie County, a rural African-American-led community in Eastern North Carolina, the documentary takes audiences deep into the emotional lives of... Read more

The Sand Box

Friday, November 11 at 6:30pm

In commemoration of Veterans’ Day, SLIFF offers a double bill of films — a narrative and a documentary — that address the devastating effects of PTSD on returning soldiers and their families. Told through the eyes of 10-year-old Finn (Sayeed Shahidi), “The Sand... Read more

Show Me Democracy

Sunday, November 6 at 6:30pm

“Show Me Democracy” asks: Can a small group of young people make a difference in complex and imperfect systems? Following the advocacy and activist efforts of seven college students in the aftermath of events in Ferguson, the documentary chronicles their thoughts... Read more

Southern Rites

Saturday, November 12 at 12:00pm

“Southern Rites” highlights the entrenched racial divides and vestiges of racism that stubbornly persist in Montgomery County, Ga. The film follows filmmaker Gillian Laub as she returns to Mount Vernon, where she once photographed the town’s segregated proms. When... Read more

To Sleep with Anger

Sunday, November 6 at 8:00pm

The fine new restoration of director Charles’ Burnett’s “To Sleep with Anger” concludes SLIFF’s two-part tribute to the Lifetime Achievement Award honoree, which begins with an afternoon screening of “Killer of Sheep.” Burnett's... Read more

Two Trains Runnin’

Sunday, November 13 at 6:00pm

“Two Trains Runnin’ — featuring the music of Gary Clark Jr. — both pays tribute to a pioneering generation of musicians and cuts to the heart of our present moment, offering a crucial vantage from which to view the evolving dynamics of race in America. In June of... Read more

When War Comes Home

Friday, November 11 at 7:30pm

A documentary complement to “The Sand Box,” “When War Comes Home” focuses on the lives of three soldiers returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. The men soon discover that post-traumatic stress affects not only their own lives but also those of their wives... Read more

Within Our Gates

Saturday, November 12 at 7:30pm

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... Read more