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Doc10 Documentary Film Festival Celebrates Juneteenth

Updated: Aug 27

Annual Film Festival Puts Black Experience Center Stage


CHICAGO, Illinois -- The Doc10 Documentary Film Festival announced programming surrounding the Juneteenth holiday on June 19, which commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States, and which has for the first time become an official holiday of the State of Illinois. This year’s edition of Doc10 features four films that focus on the African American experience, and more than half of this year’s 10-title slate are directed by people of color.


In the days leading up to Juneteenth, Doc10’s program includes:

  • Thursday, June 17 - Opening Night of the Doc10 Documentary Film Festival features SUMMER OF SOUL (...OR, HOW THE REVOLUTION COULD NOT BE TELEVISED), from director Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson. The film is a stunning unearthed treasure destined to become a pillar of American music and African American history, documenting the Harlem Cultural Festival in the summer of 1969 - just 100 miles from Woodstock. The film will be screened at the ChiTown Movies Drive-In in Pilsen (2343 S. Throop St., Chicago).

  • Friday, June 18 - Doc10 presents a special screening of ALL THESE SONS, from Chicago director Bing Liu and Joshua Altman (MINDING THE GAP). This stunning and candid portrait follows young men at risk of becoming victims or perpetrators of gun violence on the South and West sides of Chicago. The film will be screened at the ChiTown Movies Drive-In in Pilsen, featuring a live in-person Q&A with directors Bing Liu and Joshua Altman following.

On Juneteenth, Saturday June 19, Doc10 presents:


AILEY Director: Jamila Wignot. US. 82 min. Visionary Black choreographer Alvin Ailey was a pioneer of modern dance, infusing the art-form with the rich history of the African American experience and “a discourse on freedom… and soaring delights,” as author Zadie Smith once wrote. In this poetic documentary, director Jamila Wignot gracefully weaves together a tapestry of past and present, of archival footage from Ailey’s small-town Texas roots and rising career in New York City, along with a vast trove of his moving masterpieces. What emerges is a complex and impressionistic picture of a determined figure, whose powerful dance pieces revealed more about his personal struggles and triumphs than any words could describe. “A tour de force of archival assemblage” that “tells his life story with searing intimacy but also jubilant solidarity” (Filmmaker Magazine), Ailey is “tantalizing… poetic… [and] powerfully evocative” (Variety). A Q&A with director Jamila Wignot will follow the screening, live via Zoom. Saturday, June 19, 7 p.m. Davis Theatre (4614 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago) MY NAME IS PAULI MURRAY Directors: Julie Cohen and Betsy West. US. 91 min. “America, be what you proclaim yourself to be!” Such are the activist and aspirational words of Pauli Murray, the most extraordinary feminist non-binary Black civil rights lawyer, poet, and priest you may have never heard of. In this timely follow-up to their Oscar-nominated film RBG, directors Julie Cohen and Betsy West chronicle the life of another inspiring progressive icon. Told through Murray’s own potent words, this powerful documentary follows the trailblazer’s lifelong moral crusade of social justice litigation and breaking barriers—against segregation and discrimination in America—all the while enduring poignant personal struggles around gender and racial identity. An “intricately crafted” (Variety) and “engrossing… tender… rich portrait” (RogerEbert.com), this essential “diligently assembled, absorbing film [is] destined to win hearts, minds and audiences” (Screen International). Editor Cinque Northern joins a live in-person Q&A following the presentation. Saturday, June 19, 9 p.m. Davis Theatre (4614 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago)

Doc10, presented by CMP, runs June 17 - 20, 2021 at the Davis Theater (4614 N, Lincoln Ave., Chicago) and at the ChiTown Movies Drive-In (2343 S. Throop St., Chicago). Tickets are $17.60 for in-theater screenings and $40-$50 per car for drive-in screenings. There is a discount for students, seniors, military, and frontline workers. Programming schedule and tickets are available online at www.doc10.org.

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