Dir. Wendell B. Harris Jr. (1989); USA, 94m // Digital
Starring: Wendell B. Harris Jr., Timothy Alvaro, Dave Barber
FRIDAY, February 9th AT 7:00PM & 9:30PM
SATURDAY, February 10th AT 7:00PM & 9:30PM
SUNDAY, february 11TH AT 3:00PM
Chameleon Street is an almost lost, but mostly forgotten Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner. After an arduous life in the independent theater circuit and never securing theatrical distribution due to its breaking of New Black Realism conventions, Wendell B. Harris Jr.’s only directorial outing deserves more screentime. Chameleon Street does not follow the traditional “hood film” archetype, instead attempts and succeeds to spotlight ideas about the black experience outside of inner city trauma. Historical fiction at its finest, dissecting and illuminating the mind of William Douglas Street Jr. (Wendell B. Harris Jr.) and his impersonations of doctors, lawyers, and college students alike. Street’s escapades are seemingly driven wholly for financial gain, quickly making career changes from extortion (landing him in jail), to a doctor in residency. The characters Street creates are destined for failure at his own hand. Constructing and deconstructing black identity, positing questions of being and existence —— who are you if you’ve never been yourself?