"A good man. What does he have to say to us today?" asks director and choreographer Bill T. Jones of Abraham Lincoln, the only white man he "was allowed to love unconditionally."
Jones is the subject of A Good Man, a new documentary from Kartemquin Films, the Chicago-based studio behind documentary sensation The Interrupters. Directed by Bob Hercules and Gordon Quinn, the film follows Jones as he leads his company through the creation — and "creative crisis" — of a theater and dance piece honoring Lincoln. According to the Kartemquin website:
Jones and his company come face to face with America's unresolved contradictions about race, equality and the legacy of our 16th President. Initially an indictment of The Great Emancipator, the work evolves into a triumph of hope for our struggling democracy...
A Good Man is the first in a new series of $5 films screenings at the Madison Street Theatre in Oak Park, 1010 W. Madison St. The nine-week series will feature four screenings each weekend — typically Friday nights at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m and 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.
According to series organizers, each weekend will feature a pair of films "focusing loosely on a global theme and offering different perspectives."
The directors, producers and others involved in the production of the films will be on-hand to discuss the work, "as often as schedules will allow."
Also screening at this weekend's kickoff is Welcome to Anatevka, Ruth Leitman and James Jernigan's 2009 documentary that follows a theater troupe of developmentally disabled adults, a handful of theater professionals and 13 high school kids as they hurdle toward opening night of their production of A Fiddler on the Roof.
A Good Man (86 minutes) screens at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday. Welcome to Anatevka (75 minutes) screens 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call the Madison Street Theatre at (708) 524-1892 or email firstname.lastname@example.org