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Five Fingers for Marseilles Brings the Spaghetti Western to South Africa

City of Asylum (2018)

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival Presents

Five Fingers for Marseilles

Monday, March 18th
7:00 pm

Twenty years ago, the young Five Fingers posse fought for the rural town of Marseilles against the brutal oppression of Apartheid South Africa.

Their battle is heartfelt but innocent, until hot-headed Tau kills two policemen in an act of passion. He flees, leaving his brothers and friends behind, but his action has triggered a violent fight that will leave both Marseilles and the Five Fingers forever changed.

Five Fingers for Marseilles

“Here, saloon doors are blazoned with crosses, villains wear white shawls instead of black hats and freedom fighters shoot peashooters rather than pistols. In stylish and entertaining fashion, “Five Fingers for Marseilles” looks over the South African countryside and finds fresh vistas for the western genre.” – New York Times

Twenty years later, Tau is released from prison, and returns seeking peace. Finding the town under new threat, he must reluctantly fight to free it. Will the Five Fingers brotherhood stand again?

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“A Tonic of a Book” for This American Age

City of Asylum (2018)

James & Deborah Fallows:
Our Towns

Monday, February 25th
7:00 pm

For the last five years, journalists James and Deborah Fallows have been traveling across America in a single-engine prop airplane. The America they saw is acutely conscious of its problems — from economic dislocation to the opioid scourge — but also crafting solutions, with a practical-minded determination at dramatic odds with the bitter paralysis of national politics.

Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America — a national bestseller — is a vivid, surprising portrait of the civic and economic reinvention taking place in America, town by town, out of view of the national media. Their view of the country is as complex and contradictory as America itself, but it also reflects the energy, the generosity and compassion, the dreams, and the determination of many who are in the midst of making things better.

Our Towns

“James and Deborah Fallows have always moved to where history is being made … They have an excellent sense of where world-shaping events are taking place at any moment—and a fervent commitment to be there to see it happen … In these cities, the Fallows argue, citizen participants are coping with declining industries, creating new civic cultures, assimilating waves of immigration, and collaborating across party-lines to revive everything from arts programs to tech seedbeds.” — David Brooks, New York Times

City of Asylum was honored to be featured in this collection, and is double honored to host its paperback release with these two accomplished writers.

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Afro Yaqui’s Eco-conscious Jazz Returns

City of Asylum (2018)

Afro Yaqui Music Collective

Thursday, February 7th
7:00 pm

Recently returned from the Kennedy Center, The Afro Yaqui Music Collective (named after the indigenous music of the Yaqui people of northern Mexico) fuses the music of first nations in the Americas with funk, jazz, and hip hop to create a new rhythm that liberates spirit and soul.

AYMC is a 9-piece outfit which descends from the ensembles of Guggenheim award-winner Fred Ho, whose work was influenced by West African, global Indigenous and East Asian musics.

Afro-Yaqui Collective

Co-led by 2014 ACE Award-winning Yaqui-Mexican operatic vocalist Gizelxanath Rodreiguez and Fred Ho’s Baritone protege Ben Barson, the band uses their soul-stirring, heart-pumping sounds to respond to global issues from mass incarceration to ecocide.

Afro Yaqui’s concerts are always a hit with the Alphabet City crowd…so be sure to RSVP before this fan-favorite sells out!

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“A TV film to be long remembered” – New York Magazine

City of Asylum (2018)

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival Presents

The Autobiography of
Miss Jane Pittman

Monday, February 4th
7:00 pm

This screening marks a rare opportunity to see the beloved and ground-breaking 1970s television film The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, winner of nine Primetime Emmy Awards and a BAFTA nomination. Lead actress Cicely Tyson herself won two Emmy Awards for her unforgettable portray of Jane Pittman.

The Autobiography of Jane Pittman

Beginning during the racial turmoil of 1960s Louisiana, former slave Jane Pittman granted an interview to Ernest Gaines, a persistent journalist.

The film is based on a novel that Gaines subsequently wrote, telling the remarkable story of Pittman’s life. Her emancipation from slavery at the end of the Civil was only the beginning of an arduous and heartbreaking odyssey, which ended at the age of 110 with her participating in the Civil Rights movement.

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The First-ever Biography of Fred Rogers

City of Asylum (2018)

The Good Neighbor:
The Life and Work of Fred Rogers

Sunday, January 27th
6:00 pm

The Good Neighbor — the first full-length biography of Fred Rogers and a New York Times best-seller — tells the story of Pittsburgh’s champion of compassion, equality, and kindness who became an utterly unique and enduring American icon. Drawing on original interviews, oral histories and archival documents, President & CEO of The Pittsburgh Foundation Maxwell King traces Rogers’ personal, professional and artistic life through decades of work.

The Good Neighbor Cover

“The inimitable Mister Rogers becomes somehow even more enchanting. In addition to elegantly narrating the facts of Rogers’ life… King’s book brims with anecdotes of intimate exchanges that highlight Rogers’ kindness and grace.” — Booklist

King examines Rogers’ surprising decision to walk away from the show to make television for adults, only to return to the neighborhood with increasingly sophisticated episodes, written in collaboration with experts on childhood development. An engaging story, rich in detail, The Good Neighbor is the definitive portrait of a beloved figure, cherished by multiple generations.

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The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Returns to Alphabet City

City of Asylum (2018)

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Presents

East Meets West:
Influences of China on U.S. Art

Thursday, January 24th
7:00 pm

Join musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for East Meets West: Influences of China on U.S. Art, a program celebrating the eclectic work of Chinese composer Qigang Chen and Chinese poet Huang Xiang.

Qigang Chen is one of the most performed living composers in the world. A teenager and musical prodigy during China’s Cultural Revolution, he spent three years imprisoned, undergoing an “ideological reeducation.” Yet in spite of censorship and anti-cultural policy, he pursued his training in composition both within and outside of China, eventually garnering world-wide acclaim.

PSO at CoA

Hosted by conductor Earl Lee, this program will feature PSO musicians Adam Liu (Cello), Ellen Chen-Livingston (Violin) and Rodrigo Ojeda (Piano) playing selections from composer Qiguang Chen’s repertoire. Lee will contextualize the program’s music with a discussion on Chen’s unique character, identity, and social activism–as well as on the Chinese influence on Western art.

A video montage will give audiences a glimpse into Huang Xiang’s life and work, the “publication” of House Poem, and how he has shaped COA into the organization it is today. Local writers Brandon Fury and Lori Beth Jones will interpret Huang Xiang’s poetry in English in a live performance so that audiences can enjoy the full scale of emotion evoked by his words.

 

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Oscar-Nominated Animated Feature

City of Asylum (2018)

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival Presents

The Breadwinner

Saturday, January 5th
3:00 pm

The Breadwinner is an Academy Award and Golden Globe animated feature nominee. It tells the story of Parvana, an 11-year-old girl growing up under Taliban rule in war-torn Afghanistan in 2001 – where women are not allowed to leave home without a male accompanying them.

When her father is wrongfully arrested, there is no one to earn money or even shop for food. Parvana make a life-changing decision and disguises herself as a boy in order to support her family. With dauntless perseverance, Parvana draws strength from the stories her father told her and ultimately risks her life trying to discover if he is still alive.

The Breadwinner

The Breadwinner is by no means a simple-minded kidpic; rather, it directly confronts the misogyny and chauvinism of contemporary Afghanistan, while powerfully suggesting that storytelling is both a means of coping and a solution for change.” – Variety

Equal parts thrilling and enchanting, The Breadwinner is a timely and inspiring tale about the transcendent power of stories and their potential to unite and heal us all.

 

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“Madonna Before Madonna, Prince Before Prince”

City of Asylum (2018)

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival Presents

Betty: They Say I’m Different

Monday, December 10th
7:00 pm

A songwriter from a small local steel town, Betty arrived on the 70’s scene to break boundaries for women with her daring personality, iconic fashion and outrageous funk music. She befriended Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone, wrote songs for the Chambers Brothers and the Commodores, and married Miles Davis. Despite being banned and boycotted, went on to become the first black woman to perform, write and manage herself.

Betty: They Say I'm Different

Then suddenly – she vanished.

Creatively blending documentary and animation, Betty: They Say I’m Different traces the path of Betty’s life, how she grew from humble upbringings to become a fully self-realized black female pioneer the world failed to understand or appreciate. After years of trying, the elusive Betty, forever the free-spirited Black Power Goddess, finally allowed the filmmakers to creatively tell her story based on their conversations.

 

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Cowboys & Frenchman Post-Bop Jazz

City of Asylum (2018)

Cowboys & Frenchmen

Sunday, December 2nd
6:00 pm

NYC-based quintet Cowboys & Frenchmen returns to Alphabet City to present their unusual take on instrumentation, orchestration, and composition for the jazz quintet. Their front line of two alto saxophones plays loose with the role of horns, in an inclusive post-bop style that seamlessly crosses the classic American song book with blues and improvisation.

“jazz that is fresh and defies easy categorizing, and offers rewarding listening” — Cadence Magazine

Cowboys & Frenchmen

The band is comprised of five adventurous musicians: Owen Broder on alto sax, clarinet and bass clarinet, Ethan Helm on alto sax, flute and clarinet, Chris Ziemba on piano, Ethan O’Reilly on bass, and Matt Honor on drums.

The inspiration for the band’s quirky name is a short Western by David Lynch called “The Cowboy and The Frenchmen.” Like the film, this quintet’s music has one foot firmly planted in a genre, while the other foot is busy trying to kick down the genre’s door.

 

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Chinese Restaurants and the Asian American Identity

City of Asylum (2018)

Taste Makers:
Chinese Restaurants and the Asian American Identity

Monday, November 26th
5:30 pm

How is the growth of the Chinese community shaping Pittsburgh? Why has the Asian community grown so quickly among Pittsburgh’s universities, and what opportunities come with this growth? And how do the Trump Administration’s changes in immigration policies affect local businesses such as restaurants?

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Melissa McCart follows up her Pulitzer Center research with a panel exploring how those originally from Taiwan and China are contributing to the changing dynamic of Pittsburgh.
Chinese Restaurant Event
This program will feature a panel discussion with restaurateur Mike Chen of Everyday Noodles in Squirrel Hill, community crusader Marian Lien (executive director of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition and commissioner on the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian and Pacific American Affairs in Pennsylvania) and Chris Briem (University of Pittsburgh regional economist and analyst of population trends).

There will be beer, wine and Chinese snacks.

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