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Jules Dassin (1968)
1 hour 44 minutes

Jules Dassin’s 1968 film Uptight is the next feature of the LAYKA Lens. On November 19, 2020, join us and the Los Angeles Review of Books for a discussion this film, which finds new resonance in our moment of social reckoning. You can stream the film on Amazon or Apple TV anytime before we meet for a live conversation.

A retelling of John Ford’s The Informer (1935), which itself was drawn from Liam O’Flaherty’s 1925 bestselling novel, Uptight resets a classic story of revolution and betrayal from Dublin to Cleveland in the days after the assassination of Martin Luther King. Jules Dassin, a veteran of the avant-garde ARTEF Yiddish theater, returned to America after 20 years on the McCarthy-era blacklist to make this film about an ambivalent radical who betrays his dearest comrade.

Join us as we continue our autumn discussions on community, solidarity, and power. Our panel will examine this startling film and its relevance for the times we live in, cinematic reflections on the police murder of African Americans, the legacy of Jewish-Black radical allyship, and more.

The discussion, broadcast on YouTube and Facebook, included our LAYKA panelists in the conversation and comments and questions about the film from our live audience. This month’s panel included:

Moderator: Boris Dralyuk

Executive Editor, Los Angeles Review of Books

Rob Adler Peckerar

Executive Director, Yiddishkayt

Mia Mask

Professor, Vassar College

J. Hoberman

Critic and Author, New York Times, Village Voice
The LAYKA Lens film series is made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture.
Barry Jenkins, the Oscar-winning director of Moonlight, discusses the impact of Uptight and the cinema of the Black Power movement. Uptight is available for streaming on Amazon or Apple TV.