Block Cinema Presents: Chameleon Street (1990)

Thursday, Apr 19, 2018 7 – 9 pm

Northwestern University
40 Arts Circle Dr.
Evanston, IL 60201

Free and open to the public

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 1990 Sundance Film Festival but then falling into near obscurity, Wendell B. Harris’s Chameleon Street is now considered a classic of 1980s African-American independent filmmaking. Harris wrote, directed, and starred in the film, which is based on a real-life con-man imposter, who successfully passed himself off as reporters, doctors, lawyers, and more. The film touches very directly on themes of race, class, and economics—it’s a work of biting social critique—but Harris also doesn’t lose sight of the absurdity and humor of the material. Badly distributed when it was finally released in 1991, Chameleon Street has been undergoing a re-evaluation over the last decade.