Penitentiary Film Screening Poster




Department of American Studies

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Poster for the April 28, 2011 screening of the 1979 film Penitentiary as part of the spring 2011 "Masculinity and Violence" film series.
Event description from AMS Events: We would like to invite you to the fourth and last screening for the semester in the American Studies Film Series. This screening will start April 28th at 7 p.m. in ART 1.120. The movie being shown is Jamaa Fanaka's 1979 blaxploitation bruiser "Penitentiary". The screening will begin with a short introduction by AMS undergrad student Kyle Gardner, who helped found the American Studies Film series, with discussion to follow. "Penitentiary" follows Leon Isaac Kennedy as Martel 'Too Sweet' Gordone, a down-on-his-luck black youth with a strange addiction to Mr.Goodbars. Too Sweet soon finds himself wrongly sent to prison for murder, where he discovers his preternatural penchant for fighting; word of Too Sweet's talent spreads quickly, and soon he is offered a chance to win his freedom in an illegal prison boxing tournament. A gritty and compelling metaphor for the tenuous relationship between the penal system and black males, Fanaka's film manages to remain an extremely entertaining film (look especially for the stellar performance by Floyd Chatman as old wise man Hezzikia ‘ Seldom Seen’ Jackson). This final screening concludes a semester-long look into "masculinity and violence." We hope that this film series offers the opportunity for undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty to interact. All three screenings have been a huge success (special thanks to Film Series Committee Member John Cline for his excellent intro to "Cockfighter"), so we hope to see you all for the final screening in an excellent series! Remember: April 28th, 7 p.m., ART 1.120 Please, no children, but bring your friends! Hope to see you there, The American Studies Film Series Committee: Kyle Gardner John Cline Jessica Grantham

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