A film about the life of poet, storyteller and activist Maya Angelou will open the 2017 Portland Black Film Festival, and Pam Grier, the first African American woman to headline an action film, will speak after the showing of her 1973 film, “Coffy.”
Ten films examining the black experience in America and showcasing the cinematic achievements of African American stars and filmmakers will be shown between Feb. 9 and 22 at the Hollywood Theatre, 4122 N.E. Sandy Blvd. Schedules and ticket information are available online.
The series curator, writer and filmmaker David F. Walker, will give a free lecture with film clips at 2 p.m. Feb. 19 to show why “Black Images Matter.” The images of black people, he has said, have been shaped by film and television.
“Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise” will play at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9, weaving her words with archival photographs and videos that show her impact on culture and politics.
“Coffy,” (1973) directed by Jack Hill, will be screened at 7 p.m. Feb. 11 with actress Pam Grier in attendance. A classic of the blaxploitation genre, Grier plays a bold, aggressive vigilante on an anti-drug rampage. In 1997, she starred in Quentin Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown,” for which she received a Golden Globe nomination for best actress. She also appeared for six seasons in the television series “The L Word.”
A film directed by Prince, “Sign O’ The Times,” brings to life his Grammy-nominated album of the same name. It is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 13.
Filmmaker Raoul Peck’s documentary, “I Am Not Your Negro,” envisions the unfinished book by James Baldwin about the lives and assassinations of Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, and Martin Luther King Jr. Baldwin’s words are narrated by actor Samuel L. Jackson. The film is scheduled for 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Feb. 17.
A new documentary, “The New Black,” showing at 7 p.m. Feb. 19, reveals how the African American community is grappling with gay rights. “Within Our Gates,” a digital restoration of a 1920 silent film, is the story of an effort to raise money to keep open a school for impoverished black children in the South. It is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20.
Legendary entertainers, including Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and James Brown, will appear in a set of “Soul Train Express,” scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22. Soul Train, created by Don Cornelius, was the first television venue for soul music and ran for 35 years from 1971 to 2006.