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Movies Under the Stars: Our Lives at Work

July 22, 2016 from 9-11pm


CFA and Black Cinema House team up for an outdoor program that looks at where we spend most of our waking hours…that is, if we have a job. Feminist filmmaker JoAnn Elam looks at what it was like working at the post office during the 1980s. Chicago Filmmaker Loretta Smith looks at what it was like to work as a washroom attendant on Rush Street in the early 1970s. Experimental filmmaker Abigail Child looks at what its like to hustle in the streets…typically a mixed bag.

Director, Loretta Smith (will be in attendance)

This film follows Joan Williams, born in 1903, who at 70 is a bathroom attendant, providing towels and other amenities to party goers at Rush Street clubs. Amazingly forthright, she is amused by her clients in the “powder room” and casual in the telling of her own life, a life that finds respite in her work as a bathroom attendant.

EVERYDAY PEOPLE, 1979-1980, 22 min. (work print)
Director, JoAnn Elam

Everyday People is based on Elam’s experiences as a letter carrier for the US Postal Service in Chicago, the various people she met while on the job, the political struggles they faced with the administration and the union, and larger issues related to the history of labor struggle and activism in the United States.

GAME, 1972, 38:30 min.
Director, Abigail Child

This rarely-seen 1970s documentary by celebrated experimental filmmaker Abigail Child is a concise portrait of two hustlers; Tina, a prostitute, and Slim, a yogi and her pimp. The two talk shop, women’s lib, and the power games of life on the street.

(Notes courtesy of Amy Beste)


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