Chatham on Film

Chatham on Film

There are two upcoming film documentaries coming up that will highlight the Chatham community.

At the Black Harvest Film Festival being held at the Siskel Film center through August 30th, the documentary “The Curators of Dixon School” by Pamela Sherrod Anderson is being shown. The documentary is described

Public schools don’t have to be a minefield of metal detectors, minimal expectations, and mind-numbing routine. An alternative exists right here in Chicago, at the Dixon Elementary Public School in the Chatham neighborhood, where former principal Joan Crisler and her successor Sharon Dale have implemented the idea that art should be an integral part of the learning environment, with museum-quality works openly adorning the halls. The results, in terms of student performance and morale, have been spectacular, but, as this inspiring but pragmatic documentary demonstrates, there are no miracle solutions: Crisler’s protégé Carol Briggs has an uphill battle applying the same approach at another school, and recent budget cuts have left even the most successful programs vulnerable to the axe

The second film is “Benji” by Chike and Coodie. The documentary chronicles the life of the late Ben Wilson. The description of the movie:

In 1984, 17-year-old Ben Wilson was a symbol of everything promising about Chicago: a sweet-natured youngster from the city’s fabled South Side, and America’s top high school basketball prospect. Nicknamed “Magic Johnson with a jump shot,” Wilson’s natural talents and drive assured his best years were yet to come. Then, in November of his senior year, the career of this exceptional youngster was abruptly and tragically cut short. Ben’s grim fate sent ripples of horror through the city and the country.

Both documentaries show various parts of the Chatham community. Both will be shown on Thursday, August 16, 2012, at 6:30pm. The Curators of Dixon School at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N State Street. Tickets are $13.25 through Ticketmaster. Benji will be shown at Simeon High School, 8147 S Vincennes. For ticket information contact the Offical Ben Wilson Foundation at

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