Under African Skies Chicago Premier Film Screening
Joe Berlinger’s documentary on Paul Simon’s return to South Africa 25 years after the recording of Graceland won the SXSW Audience Award in the 24 Beats per Second category – Under African Skies is the only music film to win an Audience Award.
The documentary chronicles the controversy surrounding Simon’s making of the his Graceland album which was created during the time the United Nations had imposed a cultural boycott against South Africa in an attempt to end the apartheid regime. The album was perceived by many to be in violation of the boycott and to be an exploitation of the South African musicians.
25 years after the release of Graceland, Under African Skies follows Simon as he travels back to Johannesburg for an anniversary concert with the original musicians on the album. It recounts the making of the album and the response after it was released.
The documentary includes interviews with Quincy Jones, Paul McCartney, Maya Angelou, Harry Belafonte, Oprah, David Byrne, Peter Gabriel, Philip Glass and members of the African National Congress (ANC) and Artists Against Apartheid, as well as with the musicians credited on the album with Simon: Ray Phiri, Bakithi Kumalo, Joseph Shabalala, General MD Shirinda, Miriam Makeba and others.
The screenings in Chicago on June 6 and June 7 are part of the celebration of the 100th year anniversary of the ANC and are being hosted by The Chicago-Midwest ANC Centenary Committee, along with Black World Cinema and ICE Theatres.
The film screenings will feature an art exhibit of Chicago anti-apartheid posters, photos and banners and a special post-film panel discussion with VIP guests of the Chicago-Midwest ANC Centenary Committee.
The June 7th pre-show activity will also feature live cultural performances from top artists like Muntu Dance Theatre, West Indian Folk Dance Company and others.
Under African Skies Chicago Screenings:
Wednesday, June 6, 7:00 p.m.
ICE Lawndale 10 Theaters
3330 W Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL 60624
Thursday, June 7, 7:00 p.m.
ICE Theaters Chatham
210 W 87th St
Chicago, IL 60620