Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square


Year: 1961
Country: United States
Run Time: 127 minutes

This year the Great Lakes Theater Festival revives Lorraine Hansberry's 1959 stage hit, which, like many great works that are now assigned reading in countless schools, run the danger of being taken for granted - especially by modern audiences of the cinema's "African-American Renaissance" spearheaded by the likes of Spike Lee, John Singleton, and Julie Dash. But the classic 1961 movie adaptation (preserving most of the epochal Broadway cast) finds Hansberry's searing dialogue still shouting trumpet-loud to the hearts and souls of black fold, or people of any color who reach for a piece of the proverbial pie. The Younger family - discontented apartment-dwellers on the south side of Chicago - are virtually handed their slice after a patriarch's death brings them an insurance payoff. Each Younger has a dream; each dream costs; each dream has a catch. Fiery son Walter Lee wants out of his chauffeur job and into management of his own liquor store. Cynical daughter Ruth (Cleveland's Ruby Dee) wants an expensive medical degree and mother Lena wants a house in an upscale white neighborhood. "Ghetto-itis," "the Man," the ugly paradox of black misogyny, even a semi-skeptical appraisal of Afro-centricism - A RAISIN IN THE SUN laid it all on the line well before Shaft and Original Gangstas.

Lorraine Hansberry (based on her play)

Daniel Petrie

David Susskind, Philip Rose

Charles Lawton Jr.

William Lyon, Paul Weatherwax

Principal Cast
Sidney Poiter, Claudia McNeil, Diana Sands, Ruby Dee, Ivan Dixon, Louis Gossett, Jr., John Fiedler

Film Contact
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