An Introduction to Agnès Varda: Black Panthers and Mural… Murals


Join us for a sneak peek of two powerful, surprising films from legendary French filmmaker Agnès Varda before her residency in Chicago begins next week. Rebecca Zorach (Professor of Art History, Northwestern University) will introduce the films and lead a discussion after the screenings. She is currently completing on a book on Art & Soul and the landscape of the Black Arts Movement in Chicago (late 1960s-1970s),

Seating is limited, so we ask that attendees RSVP online or by phone (312.857.5561) in advance. Please note that we cannot guarantee seats for attendees who do not RSVP. Doors open at 6:30pm.

Black Panthers: Caught up in the wave of dissent sweeping the US in the late 1960s, French filmmaker Agnes Varda began filming Black Panther meetings and demonstrations, fascinated by the complexity of the Party with its blend of personal, domestic and international politics. Black Panthers captures this new mixture of cultural and political rebellion that characterized the Party, and was censored from French television out of fear that it could rekindle the powerful student uprisings of earlier that year. (1968, 30 min)

Mural… Murals: Venturing from Venice Beach to Watts, Varda looks at the murals of Los Angeles as backdrop to and mirror of the city’s many cultures. She casts a curious eye on graffiti and photorealism, roller disco and gang violence, evangelical Christians, Hare Krishnas, artists, angels, and ordinary Angelenos. Along the meandering way, we meet the creators of some of California’s most memorable wall art, including Judy Baca, mastermind of the Great Wall of Los Angeles project along the L.A. River; Arno Jordan, painter of the ironically bucolic scenes adorning the Farmer John meatpacking plant; and Kent Twitchell, who offers a theological rationale for a depiction of the Holy Trinity starring actors from Lassie, The Lone Ranger, and Father Knows Best. (1980, 81 min.)