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Montclair Film today announced the organization’s February 2018 film lineup, which celebrates Black History Month by featuring stories about the African American experience. The month kicks off with the Montclair theatrical premiere of THE FINAL YEAR, Greg Barker’s inside look at the last twelve months of Barack Obama’s Presidency though the lens of his foreign policy team. The month also features Montclair Film’s annual free African-American History Month screening with a free community screening of LORRAINE HANSBERRY: SIGHTED EYES/ FEELING HEART, a portrait of the playwright and social activist Lorraine Hansberry, which will feature multiple screenings place on Saturday, February 10th at Cinema505, located at 505 Bloomfield Ave in Downtown Montclair.

Hansberry’s masterpiece A RAISIN IN THE SUN, starring Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee, will screen the weekend prior at Cinema505. Other films in the program include STORMY WEATHER, Andrew Stone’s all-star 1943 musical starring Lena Horne, Bill Robinson, The Nicholas Brothers, and Cab Calloway, co-presented with the Vanguard Theater Company, who will host a post-screening discussion at a designated screening, SOUL POWER, Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte’s film documenting the legendary 1974 concert in Kinshasa, Zaire celebrating Muhammad Ali’s bout with Goerge Foreman, and featured James Brown, Bill Withers, B.B. King, Miriam Makeba, and Hugh Masekela (among many more), and a free screening of HIDDEN FIGURES, which launches The Price Of Liberty, Montclair Film’s partnership with the Montclair History Center focusing on African-Americans and science, and which will feature a post-screening discussion.

The Films

January 31- February 4, THE FINAL YEAR, directed by Greg Barker

February 3-4, A RAISIN IN THE SUN, directed by Daniel Petrie

February 10, LORRAINE HANSBERRY: SIGHTED EYES/ FEELING HEART directed by Tracy Heather Strain (Cinema505, FREE)

February 16-18, STORMY WEATHER, directed by Andrew Stone

February 21-25, SOUL POWER, directed by Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte

February 27, HIDDEN FIGURES, directed by Theodore Melfi (Cinema505, FREE)

First Run

First-run theatrical films receiving their Montclair theatrical release at Cinema505


Director: Greg Barker

Featuring: Barack Obama, John Kerry, Samantha Power, Ben Rhodes

Runtime: 89 Min

THE FINAL YEAR is a unique insiders' account of President Barack Obama's foreign policy team during their last year in office. Featuring unprecedented access inside the White House and State Department, THE FINAL YEAR offers an uncompromising view of the inner workings of the Obama Administration as they prepare to leave power after eight years.

“Compelling… Irresistible… deeply moving. Like a real life version of The West Wing”—The Hollywood Reporter

“Riveting”– CBS News

Free Community Screenings

Montclair Film offers these films free of charge, but free tickets are required and available online or at the Montclair Film box office.


Director: Tracy Heather Strain

Featuring: Lorraine Hansberry

Runtime: 118 Min

On March 11, 1959, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun opened on Broadway and changed the face of American theater forever. As the first-ever black woman to author a play performed on Broadway, she did not shy away from richly drawn characters and unprecedented subject matter. The play attracted record crowds and earned the coveted top prize from the New York Drama Critics’ Circle. While the play is seen as a groundbreaking work of art, the timely story of Hansberry’s life is far less known.

LORRAINE HANSBERRY: SIGHTED EYES/ FEELING HEART is the first in-depth presentation of Hansberry’s complex life, using her personal papers and archives, including home movies and rare photos, as source material. The film explores the influences that shaped Hansberry’s childhood, future art and activism. Filmmaker and Peabody Award-winner Tracy Heather Strain crafts the story of one woman who believed, like many of her generation, that words could change society. Family, friends and colleagues, including Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Harry Belafonte, her sister Mamie Hansberry, Lloyd Richards, Amiri Baraka and Louis Gossett, Jr., share their personal memories of Hansberry, offering an intimate look at a woman who was, as Poitier says in the film, “reaching into the essence of who we were, who we are, and where we came from.”

Narrated by acclaimed actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson and featuring the voice of Tony Award-winning actress Anika Noni Rose as Hansberry, the documentary portrays the writer’s lifetime commitment to fighting injustice and how she found her way to art—the theater—as her medium for activism at a crucial time for civil rights.

Montclair Film is proud to present this screening free of charge. Tickets are free but required.


Director: Theodore Melfi

Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe

Runtime: 127 Min

Three brilliant African-American women at NASA -- Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) -- serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell) into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation's confidence, turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world. Montclair Film is proud to partner with The Montclair Historical Society to present a screening of this modern classic free of charge. Tickets are free but required.

Presented in partnership with The Montclair Historical Society as part of The Price of Liberty film series.


Classic Films on the big screen, the way they were intended to be seen!


Director: Daniel Petrie

Cast: Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil, Ruby Dee, Diana Sands

Runtime: 128 Min

This lauded drama, written by legendary playwright Lorraine Hansberry, follows the Youngers, an African-American family living together in an apartment in Chicago. Following the death of their patriarch, they try to determine what to do with the substantial insurance payment they'll soon receive. Walter Lee (Sidney Poitier) wants to make a business investment, while his mother, Lena (Claudia McNeil), is intent on buying a house for them all to live in -- two differing views of the American Dream. Join us for this masterpiece, presented in conjunction with our subsequent free community screening of LORRAINE HANSBERRY: SIGHTED EYES/ FEELING HEART, which examines the life of the film’s author, Lorraine Hansberry.


Director: Andrew Stone

Cast: Lena Horne, Bill Robinson, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller, The Nicholas Brothers

Runtime: 78 Min

Bill Williamson (Bill Robinson), a struggling performer, meets a beautiful vocalist named Selina Rogers (Lena Horne). Bill promises her that they will be together after he becomes a success. However, he and Selina both skyrocket to fame and lose contact. Fortunately, Bill just might get one more chance to woo Selina at a huge musical stage show. Popular entertainers of the 1940s, including Fats Waller and Cab Calloway, perform as themselves in the film.

Presented in partnership with The Vanguard Theater Company, who will host a post-screening discussion at one of our screenings.


Director: Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte

Featuring: James Brown, Bill Withers, B.B. King, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela

Runtime: 92 Min

SOUL POWER is a vérité documentary – compiled entirely from footage shot in 1974 – of the astonishing back-to-Africa 3-day music festival “Zaire ‘74”. It was held in Kinshasa ahead of the biggest boxing event of all time: the Muhammad Ali–George Foreman “Rumble in the Jungle”. Directed by Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte, SOUL POWER features a legendary line-up of African and African-diaspora musicians – all of whom are at the very peak of their creative powers. Alongside Ali’s wit and wisdom – profoundly lyrical in its own right – vibrant street scenes of downtown Kinshasa, and “fly-on-the-wall” footage of the festival’s staging, rehearsals, and jams, the three nights of concerts (lensed by Albert Maysles and a host of other legendary cameramen) offer electrifying performances by James Brown, B.B. King, Bill Withers, Sister Sledge, Miriam Makeba, The Spinners, Big Black, The Crusaders, Celia Cruz, and many more. The concert has achieved mythological significance as the definitive Africa(n)-American musical event of the 20th Century and only now, after years of painstaking restoration – legal wrangling prevented an edit and release at the time of filming – SOUL POWER joins the pantheon of concert film classics.

The complete lineup, including show times and ticketing information, is now available at montclairfilm.org

Select images for these films can be found at http://bit.ly/MontclairfIlmFebruary2018


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