The Music Box puts spotlight on Black film with Melanin, Roots and Culture series

ByHosea Sanders and Marsha Jordan WLS logo
Tuesday, February 20, 2024
Music Box puts spotlight Black movies and filmmakers
Chicago's Music Box Theatre is putting on the Melanin, Roots and Culture film series spotlighting Black movies like "Barbershop" and "Eve's Bayou."

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Melanin, Roots and Culture film series hosted by Chicago's Music Box Theatre turns the spotlight on films, classic and new, from Black filmmakers.

The series is curated by Tyler Balentine.

"Right now, because representation is everything, and what I'm showing here is that our stories come from different realms, different experiences as Black stories do," he said.

One of the movies featured is "Barbershop," which was shot right here in Chicago.

"It's just a real good film about Black camaraderie," Balentine said. "Just seeing the conversations we have, having experiences; the good, the bad, the ugly."

The late, great film critic Roger Ebert was a big fan of "Eve's Bayou," which is also in the series.

"In scene after scene, 'Eve's Bayou' it's the kind of passionate family drama that coils around memory and mystery," Ebert said in his review.

On March 6 the Music Box will showcase "Life Within the Lens," a series of shorts from up and coming Chicago Black filmmakers.

"These people are filmmakers who work in the city, either they've gone to school here, they've moved here, they were raised here," Balentine said.

Other movies playing at the Music Box as part of this series include "Reality Raps," "One For My Baby," "Baracked," "Three Really Short Films About Love" and "Hindsight."

"If people who work in the film industry and film students and film buffs want to see something from Chicago artists, by Chicago artists, they'll come to the Music Box on March 6," Balentine said.

"Barbershop" plays Tuesday night, and "Eve's Bayou" will play on Saturday.

For more information and to see the full schedule of films, click here to visit the Music Box's website.