Men In Black 3-Photocall in Berlin

Source: WENN / WENN

Subversion was the clarion call of Black superhero films past. The characters were underground women and men, usually far off-kilter eccentrics whose very existence was a challenge to contemporary society. Our beloved Blade was a mestizo, half-human, half-vampire, all kick-ass. Aaliyah, too, was a queen—of the damned. There was A Brother From Another Planet, a slave on the run, albeit from another world, and so many more. But whoever they were, they were in exile, what Rushdie coined “a dream of glorious return.” But Black Panther—the moment this film series from the impeccable curators and artists at BAMcinématek is inspired by—is a coming out party.

BAMcinématek programmer Ashley Clarke summed it up this way: “Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther is one of the most hotly anticipated blockbusters of the year, and is rightly seen as a new high watermark in the representation of Black characters in the fantasy genre. But it is preceded by a rich if under-acknowledged history. Fight the Power: Black Superheroes on Film presents the mythical, fantastical, and groundbreaking icons that laid the path for Black Panther.”

That they did. The series features the aforementioned as well as Cat Woman, Ghostdog: The Last Samurai, and a 25th anniversary showing of Meteor Man. It also features lesser-known treasures: Yeelen, Strange Days, Attack The Block, and Sleight. And there are the discussions, including one called “The Future of The Black Screen Superhero.” It’s a future that’s looking bright thanks in major part to our Blaxploitation past. If you’re just finding this here, you’ve already missed gems like Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, Cleopatra Jones, and The Spook Who Sat By The Door.

But don’t despair! There’s still time.

Here’s the schedule of what’s still available:

Friday, February 9

7 p.m.: Blade + Blade II

 

Sunday, February 11

12 p.m.: Kirikou and the Sorceress

2 p.m.: The Future of Black Screen Superheroes shorts program + panel discussion

4:30 p.m.: The Meteor Man

7:15 p.m.: Men in Black

 

Monday, February 12

7 p.m.: Besouro

 

Tuesday, February 13

7 p.m.: Caribbean Film Series: Brown Girl Begins

9:30 p.m.: Queen of the Damned

 

Friday, February 16

4:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m.: Sleight

7 p.m.: The Brother from Another Planet

 

Saturday, February 17

2 p.m., 7 p.m.: Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

4:30 p.m.: Yeelen

9:30 p.m.: Catwoman

 

Sunday, February 18

4:30 p.m., 9:45 p.m.: Attack the Block

6:45 p.m.: Strange Days

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