FF2 Media | Senior Contributor Stephanie Taylor recaps CIFF "Best of the Fest"

The 53rd annual Chicago International Film Festival began Oct. 12 and will end Oct. 26 at the AMC 21 River East Theater. In total, 5,190 films were entered for consideration from 95 countries - 36 final films were directed by women. The following is my “Best of the Fest,” six films I screened and snippet-reviewed: Nancy Buirski (U.S.) The Rape of Recy Taylor, Tracy Heather Strain (U.S.) Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart, Laura Mora (Colombia/Argentina) Killing JesúsAnahita Ghazvinizadeh (U.S./Qatar) They, Kathleen Hepburn (Canada) Never Steady, Never Still, Carolina Jabor (Brazil) Liquid Truth. Here are the sneak peeks:


The Rape of Recy Taylor

Director/writer Nancy Buirski creates a poignant and intense documentary, The Rape of Recy Taylor. During the Jim Crow era, a 24-year-old woman is kidnapped and gang raped by six white men in 1944 in Alabama. At this time, many rape victims (particularly Black women) did not report their violation out of fear. Taylor, however, spoke up. With the support of the NAACP and its chief investigator, Rosa Parks, she identifies the men. With audio and video archival footage along with interviews from the family, we have a peek inside of the life of a woman who had been violated... and changed.

It's an ugly truth that needs to be told-- and, it was told beautifully. This film will erupt a plethora of emotions: sadness, empathy and anger. But it will also enlighten by bringing notice to an atrocious crime that is all too common. (SAT: 5/5)