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Monday, 19 January 2015

Showing of film Selma with Intro Lecture by Prof Brian Ward, January 31

The North East premiere of the new feature film Selma will take place at the Star & Shadow Cinema at 2pm on Saturday, January 31, a week before its official release.  The movie tells the story of a pivotal moment in the African-American fight for voting rights in the 1960s South. Northumbria Professor in American Studies Brian Ward will give a short introductory talk on the film before the screening.

Film critic A.O. Scott writes of the movie in a recent New York Times review:

While entirely satisfying on its own, “Selma” seems to contain the seeds of at least a dozen other movies — a reminder of how fertile the civil rights era is and how poorly it has been explored by popular culture. Spike Lee and Denzel Washington gave us a fine Malcolm X (who shows up here briefly, played by Nigel Thatch), but how long will we have to wait for a biopic devoted to Bayard Rustin (Ruben Santiago-Hudson), Amelia Boynton (Lorraine Toussaint) or Andrew Young (Andre Holland)? Or for a daring director to tackle the story of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, whose internal tensions and impatience with Dr. King surface here in arguments between James Forman (Trai Byers) and the future Congressman John Lewis (Stephan James)? Where is the premium-cable mini-series about Diane Nash (Ms. Thompson) and James Bevel (Common)? The Martin Luther King-Ralph Abernathy (Colman Domingo) buddy movie? The “Law & Order” spinoff about the career of the Justice Department lawyer John Doar (Alessandro Nivola)? They are all here, in miniature, but “Selma” made me impatient for more. . .
Edmund Pettus Bridge scene from the film.

“Selma” is not a manifesto, a battle cry or a history lesson. It’s a movie: warm, smart, generous and moving in two senses of the word. It will call forth tears of grief, anger, gratitude and hope. And like those pilgrims on the road to Montgomery, it does not rest.*

The showing of the film at the Star and Shadow will also serve as a fundraiser for the Journey to Justice/Shadow of Selma Project. In Spring 2015, J2J/SoS will bring an exhibition on the US Civil Rights Movement and its connections to struggles for social justice and democracy in the North East to the Discovery and Great North Museums, as well as running various public engagement and educational events on similar themes.

Tickets cost £10 each and are available here.

For more information on tickets and Journey to Justice, contact Bethany Elen Kirtley Coyle. For more information on the Star & Shadow, go here.

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