The Rehoboth Beach Film Society, in partnership with The Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice, will present the second annual Rehoboth Beach African-American Film Festival over President’s Day weekend, Feb. 15-17, at the RBFS’ Cinema Art Theatre, 17701 Dartmouth Drive, Lewes.
The mission of this event is to deepen awareness of African-American cultures and experiences and to explore community differences and commonalities through the art of film.
— “Black Is The Color”: 7 p.m. Feb. 15. In 1969, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York mounted an exhibit called “Harlem On My Mind.” The show had no work by African-American artists. The “Harlem on My Mind” fiasco is emblematic of the barriers black artists have faced when it comes to having their work exhibited and collected. “Black Is The Color” is a needed survey of great work by artists whose contributions were neglected by the mainstream art world for far too long. After the film, Reggie Lynch, the curator of education at The Biggs Museum of American Art, will moderate an audience discussion with several local artists of color whose works have been displayed in the museum. The names of the participating artists will be posted at rehobothfilm.com/event/african-american-film-festival.
— “Father’s Kingdom”: 4:30 p.m. Feb. 16. Father Divine was born in poverty, the son of emancipated slaves. At his peak, he was one of America’s most controversial religious leaders. He preached that he himself was an incarnation of God and that by following his rules of purity and celibacy, people can live forever in “heaven on earth.” His movement was dedicated to integration and communal living. Father Divine commanded properties and businesses, all funded by the work of his thousands of followers. But scandal, suspicion and racism lead to clashes with the law.
Today, Father Divine’s remaining followers live as a communal family outside Philadelphia. The film explores the line between faith and fanaticism, between a religion and a cult. Father Divine’s revolutionary ideas on race and identity still resonate today. After the film, Charlotte King of the Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice, and a member of the Festival’s Planning Committee, will lead an audience discussion.
— “Service To Man”: 7:30 p.m. Feb 16. It’s 1967 and medical student Eli Rosenberg has a problem. One medical school in the country will accept him: Meharry Medical College, an all-black school in Nashville, Tennessee. Fellow student Michael DuBois also has a problem. Only one medical school in the country will do: Meharry Medical College, his father’s alma mater, and therefore his, whether he likes it or not.
— “Everything But A Man”: 2 p.m. Feb. 17. Once in a lifetime, a lover comes along who changes everything. The story follows Vanessa, an ultra-modern, independent career woman who appears to have it all on the outside, but is secretly lonely and unfulfilled on the inside. Things change after she falls into an unlikely romance with Max, a French-speaking foreigner whose radical lifestyle differences clash with hers and cause her to re-examine everything she's come to believe about love, relationships and what it truly takes to be happy.