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AFI Silver Classic Film Weekend: ZOU ZOU + Introduction by Ina Diane Archer

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"Pre-Code: Sex and Censorship" electrifies the first AFI Silver Classic Film Weekend. Immerse yourself in the thrilling era of pre-Code cinema, a fleeting moment from the late 1920s to 1934 when films defied convention before the Hays Code stifled Hollywood's boldness. These movies, lighthearted or dramatic, showcased complex women and flawed heroes struggling against social injustice, and unflinching explorations of sex, ambition and crime. Witness legendary stars ignite the screen: Clara Bow, James Cagney, Barbara Stanwyck, Cary Grant, Jean Harlow, Joan Blondell, Spencer Tracy, Warren William, Anna May Wong and Josephine Baker. Festival guests, including film historians Richard Koszarski, Steven C. Smith, Farran Smith Nehme, Katie Gee Salisbury and David Stenn, will introduce each film.

90th Anniversary. Introduction by film historian Ina Diane Archer

Legendary Black American singer and dancer Josephine Baker found success at the Folies Bergère in Paris, along with movie stardom in French films. The enchanting Martinique-set ZOU ZOU captures Baker's unique vivacity, sense of mischief and uninhibited sexuality. As children, Zou Zou (Baker) and Jean (Jean Gabin) tour as circus twins; he later moves from sailor to stagehand, while she delivers laundry to a theater, longing to step into the spotlight. When the temperamental star storms out on opening night, Baker takes over the role and is a sensation. The final third of the film features Baker performing onstage, including her famous solo number as a caged bird in a feathery outfit wistfully singing, "Who will give me back my Haiti?" ZOU ZOU showcases Baker as a singer and exotic dancer, offering a glimpse into the more liberated portrayal of race and sexuality in French cinema.