Tonight marks the closing of the ninth annual Black Is...Culturefeast, which featured enough film, literature, arts and cultural filling to stuff even the most discerning participant to the gills. As part of the closing ceremonies, the Pan African Arts Society (which hosts Black Is... each year) is presenting the Fade2Black Awards Reception, which will honor Opalanga Pugh, the Café Cultura Collective, the Flobots, Denver Open Media and the Magnet Mafia. Let's hear it for the locals!
Also taking place as part of the evening's festivities is a screening of War/Dance. Westword reporter Jessica Centers had this to say about the film when it first screened at Starz FilmCenter in January: "It's rare to see a film that so eloquently captures the worst and best of humanity, but War/Dance does it beautifully. Set in war-torn northern Uganda, the documentary follows the Patongo school, in the middle of a massive refugee camp, as its children prepare for a national music competition. We see Nancy collapse, weeping, at her father's grave; Rose recalling seeing her mother's severed head; and Dominic shamefully describing the innocent farmers he beat to death when he was abducted and forced to become a child soldier. Amid these agonizing scenes are images of the children smiling and laughing as they sing and dance. They anticipate the music festival as their chance to bring pride back to their tribe and to prove to the rest of their country that they are more than just orphans of war.
"By the end, you're holding your breath, wanting the Patongo kids to prove themselves as badly as they do."
Tonight's your chance to see this breathtaking film on the big screen and pay homage to cultural giants; it all goes down at Neighborhood Flix Cinema & Cafe, 2510 East Colfax Avenue, and tickets to both the film and awards reception are $15. Visit www.panafricanarts.org for information.
Sun., April 27, 6:30 p.m., 2008