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Dirty Gertie from Harlem U.S.A. 

When: Sun., Dec. 11 2016
The film and video distribution company Kino Lorber has worked for years on a DVD boxset of early African-American films that were all made regionally. The boxset has finally seen the light of day. Earlier this month, the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque will screen DCP versions of some of the best titles. Dubbed “Pioneers of African-American Cinema,” the series is a major film history project that seeks to “collect, restore, and re-release short and feature length films made by independent black filmmakers during the early part of the 20th century—primarily from the 1920s through the 1940s.” The so-called “race” films were financed, produced, written, directed, distributed and exhibited by people of color. The films tackle taboo subjects such as interracial romance, racism, religion, spiritual salvation and damnation, lynching. They also feature unique visual and narrative styles. Tonight at 6:30, the Cinematheque will screen Dirty Gertie from Harlem U.S.A, an unauthorized adaptation of the W. Somerset Maugham story. Spencer Williams’ Hot Biskits (1931), a 10-minute comedy about mini-golf, precedes it. Admission is $10, $7 for members and students. (Niesel)

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