Best Synergy: Maryland Film Festival

The Maryland Film Festival this year coincided with the tail end of the uprising and less than a week out from its start, there was still a curfew in place, which put the festival in a precarious position: Should it reschedule out of respect for the events? Should it go on because the city needed stuff like MFF and risk looking insensitive as a bunch of film dweebs raced around the city, checking out movies amid political turmoil? The MFF chose not to reschedule and to hope for the best and it worked out, in part because the programming was diverse and politically engaged, and as a result felt like a way to transition out of the moment-to-moment chaos into more big-picture concerns. A screening of Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing,” the documentary “Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution”—complete with a Q&A with filmmaker Stanley Nelson, which turned out to be deeply cathartic—and the stunning surreal documentary “Field Niggas” continued the conversations started during the uprising.

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