An Interdisciplinary Conference
at the University of Texas at Austin
October 10th-12th, 2008

Film Festival  

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Celluloid for Social Justice:
The Legacy of 1968 in Documentaries

A Pre-Conference Mini-Film-Series
Honoring the 40th Anniversary of California Newsreel

This film series is free and open to the public.
All films will be shown in CALHOUN 100, starting at 7:00 pm with a brief introduction.

Download List of Films to be shown.

Week 1 Films

Film Fest Home | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4

  • thumbnail of scanned text    Mon. 9/15 Strange Fruit
    57 minutes, closed captions, 2002
    Strange Fruit is the first documentary exploring the history and legacy of the Billie Holiday classic. The song's evolution tells a dramatic story of America's radical past using one of the most influential protest songs ever written as its epicenter. The saga brings viewers face- to- face with the terror of lynching even as it spotlights the courage and heroism of those who fought for racial justice when to do so was to risk ostracism and livelihood if white - and death if Black. It examines the history of lynching, and the interplay of race, labor and the left, and popular culture as forces that would give rise to the Civil Rights Movement. [download handout (MS-Word document)]

    thumbnail of scanned text     Scarred Justice: The Orangeburg Massacre 1968
    56 minutes, 2008
    Scarred Justice: The Orangeburg Massacre 1968 brings to light one of the bloodiest tragedies of the Civil Rights era after four decades of deliberate denial. The killing of four white students at Kent State University in 1970 left an indelible stain on our national consciousness. But most Americans know nothing of the three black students cut down at South Carolina State College in Orangeburg two years earlier. This scrupulously researched documentary finally offers the definitive account of that tragic incident and reveals the environment that allowed it to be buried for so long. It raises disturbing questions about how our country acknowledges its tortured racial past and makes sense of its challenging present. [download handout (MS-Word document)]

  • thumbnail of scanned text  Tues. 9/16 Lumumba: La Mort du Prophète
    70 minutes, English subtitles, 1992
    Lumumba: la mort du Prophète (Lumumba: Death of a Prophet) offers a unique opportunity to reconsider the life and legacy of one of the legendary figures of modern African history. Like Malcolm X, Patrice Lumumba is remembered less for his lasting achievements than as an enduring symbol of the struggle for self-determination. This deeply personal reflection by acclaimed fimmaker Raoul Peck on the events of Lumumba's brief twelve month rise and fall is a moving memorial to a man described as a giant, a prophet, a devil, "a mystic of freedom," and "the Elvis Presley of African politics." [download handout (MS-Word document)]

  • thumbnail of scanned text  Wed. 9/17 February One
    42 minutes, 2004
    In one remarkable day, four college freshmen changed the course of American history. February One tells the inspiring story surrounding the 1960 Greensboro lunch counter sit-ins that revitalized the Civil Rights Movement and set an example of student militancy for the coming decade. This moving film shows how a small group of determined individuals can galvanize a mass movement and focus a nation's attention on injustice. [download handout (MS-Word document)]

    thumbnail of scanned text  The Strange Demise of Jim Crow
    56 minutes, 1998
    Not all the civil rights victories of the '60s were won at the cost of vicious beatings and mass arrests played-out in front of television cameras. The Strange Demise of Jim Crow reveals for the first time on film how many Southern cities were desegregated in a quieter, almost stealthy fashion with behind-the-scenes negotiations, secret deals and controversial news black-outs. It makes visible a fascinating case-study of how urban power is really wielded. [download handout (MS-Word document)]

  • thumbnail of scanned text    Thurs. 9/18 James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket
    87 minutes, 1990
    James Baldwin (1924-1987) was at once a major twentieth century American author, a Civil Rights activist and, for two crucial decades, a prophetic voice calling Americans, Black and white, to confront their shared racial tragedy. James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket captures on film the passionate intellect and courageous writing of a man who was born black, impoverished, gay and gifted. [download handout (MS-Word document)]