Members of Newsreel (NR), the radical filmmakers group that captured the energy and imagery of sixties' activism on film, will screen and discuss their works in a two-day seminar at Sarah Lawrence College in the Heimbold auditorium beginning Friday, November 14, at 8 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please call (914) 395-2412 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Newsreel films covering 60's activism and civil disobedience were considered to be the cinematic embodiment of voices of progressive change and social justice. This seminar is the result of efforts by a Sarah Lawrence student organizer, Adam Kaz, striving to better understand Newsreel's historical dynamics and the impact of political filmmaking in the 60's and its relevance today.
"Newsreel's productions speak to the importance of documentary art in building and sustaining movements for radical social change," said Rico Speight, faculty advisor to the program. The seminar will feature screenings and panel discussions of NR classics, including, Columbia Revolt, the story of the Columbia University student takeover; Off the Pig, one of the first films made about the Black Panther Party; and People's War, a reflection on the U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
At the opening event on Friday, November 14, at 8 p.m., Newsreel members Norm Fruchter and Roz Payne will remark on the history of the organization. Three Newsreel films will be screened: Strike City, Off the Pig, and The Young Lords. After the films, invited guests, including Dhoruba Bin Wahad (activist and former Black Panther), Mickey Melendez (former member of the Young Lords Party, author of "We Took the Streets), and Roz Payne (curator of the Newsreel film collection & Black Panther Party Video Library) will moderate a discussion.
On Saturday, November 15, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., seven films will be shown, covering a range of social actions, from peace demonstrations, the veterans' anti-war movement, the 60's counter culture, to the Vietnamese anti-colonial movement. Newsreel filmmakers will attend all screenings. From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Columbia Revolt will be presented with a panel discussion to follow.
Two feminist films, Up Against the Wall Miss America, the filmed disruption of the 1968 Miss America pageant, and Make Out, a documentary short of a woman's POV on the art of making-out, will be screened at 5:30p.m. on Saturday afternoon, and Academy Award winner and NR member Deborah Shaffer, director of Make Out, will lead discussions.
Summer '68, on organizing efforts around the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, and Finally Got the News, on activities of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers of Detroit will be presented at 7:30 p.m. The filmmakers, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, and historians will speak following the screenings.
Sarah Lawrence is a liberal arts college for men and women, founded in 1926, with a distinctive system of education. It is known for having one of the lowest (9:1) student/faculty ratios in the country. At the core of the system are small classes, regular one-on-one student-faculty conferences, cross-disciplinary approaches and the integration of the creative arts within the curriculum.