“Mean Streets: Viewing the Divided City Through the Lens of Film and Television” —presented as part of the St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF) Nov. 3-13 — includes screenings of narrative and documentary works that address the strong intersections between racial divisions and urban spaces. These 15 programs comprising 22 films will be accompanied by discussions with filmmakers, film subjects, Washington University and outside scholars, and national cultural critics, followed by Q&As with the audience.

“Mean Streets” is a collaboration among Cinema St. Louis, Washington University Libraries, the Missouri History Museum, and Washington University’s Sam Fox School’s College of Architecture.

“Mean Streets” is part of “The Divided City” initiative, a joint project of Washington University’s Center for the Humanities and the College of Architecture and Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Design. “The Divided City” is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

With additional support from Washington University’s American Culture Studies program, “Mean Streets” also includes four filmmaking workshops to allow budding and experienced filmmakers to engage with professional media makers around issues of filmmaking process.

All programs are free and open to the public.

“Mean Streets” programming includes local, national, and international components that deal with race and ethnicity. Highlights include locally relevant films about Pruitt-Igoe and Ferguson, and national films dealing with gun violence (“Chi-Raq), mass incarceration (“Milwaukee 53206”), and racial divides in smaller communities (“Southern Rites” and “No Crossover”). “Mean Streets” also includes films from an international perspective that focus on religious and ethnic divides and the difficult search for common ground (“The Peacemaker” and “Bogdan’s Journey”).

The “Mean Streets” program includes such significant filmmaking names as Charles Burnett, director of “Killer of Sheep” and one of the influential figures in the “L.A. Rebellion” of independent African American filmmakers; Oscar-nominated filmmaker Steve James, known for “No Crossover” (screening as part of “Mean Streets”), “Hoop Dreams,” and “The Interrupters”; Gillian Laub, respected international photographer and director of “Southern Rites”; and Gordon Quinn, founder of the influential social justice media collaborative Kartemquin Films.


Nov. 5 at Washington University’s Brown Auditorium

1 p.m.: “Night School,” with a Skype Q&A with director Andrew Cohn

Faculty facilitator: Garrett Albert Duncan, WU Associate Professor of Education and Associate Professor of African & African-American Studies

4 p.m.: “Bob’s Tour” (with “Exodus”) with subject Bob Hansman, Jovan Hansman, and director Jun Bae

Faculty facilitators: Heidi Kolk, Acting Director of WU’s American Culture Studies; John Early, Lecturer, WU’s Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts

7:30 p.m.: “The Peacemaker” with subject Padraig O’Malley and director James Demo

Faculty facilitator: Sunita Parikh, WU Associate Professor of Political Science

Nov. 6 at Washington University’s Brown Auditorium

Noon: “The Pruitt-Igoe Myth” (with “More Than One Thing”) with former Pruitt-Igoe residents Billy Towns, Tommie Towns, and Sylvester Brown, and Brian Woodman, producer of “The Pruitt-Igoe Myth” and Curator of the WU Film & Media Archive

3:30 p.m. Doc Shorts: Kartemquin Films’ Gordon Quinn with director/Kartemquin founder Gordon Quinn

Faculty facilitator: Angelica Das, American University

7 p.m.: “No Crossover” with director Steve James

Faculty facilitators: Noah Cohan, Lecturer, American Culture Studies; Vernon Mitchell, Curator of Popular American Arts, WU Libraries

Nov. 6 at St. Louis Public Library

1:30 p.m.: “Killer of Sheep” with director Charles Burnett

Faculty facilitator: Rebecca Wanzo, Associate Professor, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Associate Director of the Center for the Humanities at Washington University

Nov. 10 at Ritenour Auditorium

7:30 p.m.: “Gentlemen of Vision” with directors Frank Popper & Jim Kircherr, subject Marlon Wharton, and a performance by GOV.

Faculty facilitator: Joanna Dee Das, WU Assistant Professor of Dance

Nov. 11 at Missouri History Museum

7 p.m.: “Chi-Raq” with screenwriter Kevin Willmott

Faculty facilitator: Novotny Lawrence, Associate Professor and Chair, Radio, Television, and Digital Media Department, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

Nov. 12 at Missouri History Museum

Noon: “Southern Rites” with director Gillian Laub

Faculty facilitator: Lerone Martin, WU Assistant Professor of Religion and Politics

3 p.m.: “Camden: Love/Hate” with director Daniel Meirom and subject Kimel Hadden

Faculty facilitator: Denise Ward-Brown, WU Associate Professor, Sam Fox School

7 p.m.: Doc Shorts: Black Lives Matter

Nov. 13 at Missouri History Museum

Noon: “Milwaukee 53206” (with “I, Destini”) with director Keith McQuirter

Faculty facilitator: Margaret Garb, Professor of History and Co-Director of the Washington University Prison Education Program

3 p.m.: “Bogdan’s Journey” with director Larry Loewinger

Faculty facilitator: Erin McGlothlin, WU Associate Professor of German and Jewish Studies

6 p.m.: “Two Trains Runnin’” with writer and cultural critic Greg Tate; Jacqueline Dace, National Blues Museum

Faculty facilitator: Paige McGinley, WU Assistant Professor of Performing Arts


Nov. 5 at Washington University West Campus Library Conference Room A/B:

A series of filmmaking workshops on issues such as fair use (with filmmakers Diane Carson and Robert Johnson, Jr.), using archival material in film (with producer and Curator of the Washington University Libraries’ Film & Media Archive, Brian Woodman), and editing technique (with director Robert Greene)

Nov. 12 at Washington University West Campus Library Conference Room A/B:

Screenwriting Master Class with “Chi-Raq” screenwriter Kevin Willmott. V

Via Press Release