With Jacqueline Stewart, L.A. Rebellion series curator, in person
Dir. Zeinabu irene Davis. 1999, 90 mins. Digital projection. With John Earl Jelks, Michelle A. Banks. Compensation depicts two Chicago love stories, one set at the dawn of the 20th century and the other in contemporary times, featuring a deaf woman and a hearing man. Both played by Jelks and Banks, the two couples face the specter of death when the man is diagnosed with tuberculosis in the early story, and the woman with AIDS in the contemporary one. One of the most striking aspects of Compensation is its unusual narrative approach. Upon casting the deaf actress Banks, Davis and screenwriter Mark Arthur Chéry modified the film to incorporate sign language and title cards, making it accessible to both deaf and hearing audiences.
Dir. Iverson White. 1985, 28 mins. 16mm. With John Jelks, Harold House. Subjected to Jim Crow laws and an overtly racist white population, an African American family in the South sends its sons away to a better life. White’s period film visualizes the migration of African Americans from the rural South to the urban, industrial North.