10/2/2014 2:00 PM Fox-Bay Main, 334 E Silver Spring Dr

10/7/2014 2:00 PM Times Cinema, 5906 W Vliet St

10/9/2014 7:30 PM Landmark Oriental 2, 2230 N Farwell Ave

 Riverwest Currents is proud to sponsor Through a Lens Darkly directed by Thomas Allen Harris, with the Milwaukee Film Festival, scheduled for Sept 25-Oct 9. Dates, times and locations for the film’s screenings will be announced on the Currents website and Facebook page once the information is finalized.

Through a Lens Darkly01 coverFrom its invention more than 175 years ago to the present, photography has played an important role in documenting and shaping the African-American experience. It’s been used as both an instrument of oppression and a tool for social change, all the while defining and shaping images of “black” or “blackness” in American popular culture. 

Thomas Allen Harris’s film, part of a transmedia project surrounding the subject, aims to expose the hidden histories contained in these photographs, with contributions from Carrie Mae Weems, Anthony Barboza and many others that show just how prevalent this medium has been in chronicling a history from slavery all the way to the White House.

Inspired by Reflections in Black, a book by Deborah Willis – who also co-produces the film – Through a Lens Darkly casts a broad net that begins with filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris’s family album. It considers the difference between black photographers who use the camera to define themselves, their people, and their culture and some white photographers who, historically, have demeaned African-Americans through racist imagery. 

The film embraces both historical material (African-Americans who we    re slaves, who fought in the Civil War, were victims of lynchings, or were pivotal in the Civil Rights Movement) and contemporary images made by such luminaries as Roy DeCarava, Gordon Parks, and Carrie Mae Weems. 

The film is a cornucopia of Americana that reveals deeply disturbing truths about the history of race relations while expressing joyous, life-affirming sentiments about the ability of artists and amateurs alike to assert their identity through the photographic lens. 

Learn More: Film Trailer:youtube./0dgHrU1T9a8