Film series will show ‘4 Little Girls’
Spike Lee’s documentary “4 Little Girls” will be screened as part of the monthly Movies With Spirt community film series on Saturday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. at New Progressive Baptist Church, 8 Hone St.
The provocative, sometimes wrenching film recounts the Sept. 15, 1963, bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., that killed four girls — Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley and Carole Robertson, all age 14; and Denise McNair, 11 — who were attending Sunday school.
The girls were in the basement changing into their choir robes for a sermon titled “A Love That Forgives” when 15 sticks of dynamite under the church’s front steps exploded. The bombing also injured 22 others.
The attack on a church that had long been a significant religious center for Birmingham’s black population, and was a routine meeting place for civil rights organizers, happened just three weeks after Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his momentous “I Have a Dream” speech. Outrage over the attack, and the violent clashes between protesters and police that followed, were pivotal in drawing national attention to the hard-fought, often dangerous struggle for civil rights for AfricanAmericans.
The FBI concluded the bombing had been committed by four known Ku Klux Klansmen, but no one was prosecuted until 1977. One of the white supremacists, Thomas Edwin Blanton Jr., who was 33 at the time of the bombing, wasn’t convicted until 2001. Now 86, Blanton is the last of the convicted bombers still alive. He was denied parole by the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles in August and won’t be eligible for consideration again until 2021.
Lee’s film sketches the institutionalized oppression blacks faced at the time. It mixes archival footage and photos with loving, insightful interviews with the slain girls’ parents, siblings, neighbors and friends. It also includes interviews with key civil rights leaders of the time, including the Revs. Fred Shuttlesworth, Andrew Young, James Bevel, John Cross and Jesse Jackson. Also interviewed are former “CBS Evening News” anchorman Walter Cronkite and former Alabama Gov. George Wallace.
The 1997 film, which was nominated for an Academy Award and won seven filmfestival and critic awards, is not rated and runs 102 minutes. The Kingston screening will be followed by a facilitated discussion. Refreshments will be served. Attendees over age 12 are asked to contribute $5 a person.
The Movies With Spirit series, organized by Gerry Harrington of Kingston, seeks to stimulate people’s sense of joy and wonder, inspire love and compassion, evoke a deepened understanding of people’s integral connection with others and with life itself, and support individual cultures, faith paths and beliefs while simultaneously transcending them.
The films are screened in diverse houses of worship and reverence across Ulster and Dutchess counties at 7 p.m. on the third Saturday every month.
The series has no religious affiliation.
For more information about “4 Little Girls” and the rest of the series, call Harrington at (845) 389-9201 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Details are also available at movieswithspirit.com and facebook. com/MoviesWithSpirit. Dear People editor: The Woodstock Film Festival would like to extend its heartfelt gratitude to all of those who made the 2016 Festival a rousing success.
We thank all of our generous sponsors, without whom, the festival cannot exist. We thank the audience, who express their appreciation for artistic filmmaking by getting full festival passes or purchasing one or many individual tickets and coming out for screenings, panels and special events. We thank our loyal and hard-working Board of Directors, and our Advisory Board. We thank our gracious supporters; all the local businesses, politicians and organizations, whose efforts enable the production of the Festival.
We thank the Town of Woodstock, for its unwavering, generous support, as well as the Woodstock Police Department. We thank the Towns of Rhinebeck, Saugerties, Rosendale and Kingston, who welcomed us and partnered with us.
We thank artist Mary Frank for the beautiful 2016 WFF Poster. We thank all the participating filmmakers and industry members who came in from all corners of the world, including China, England, Trinidad, South Africa, the Netherlands and Israel; from throughout the US and from many parts of the beautiful Hudson Valley. Hollywood celebrities, accomplished filmmakers and those who are just starting out all mingled with community members and colleagues alike and many, who were struck by the beauty of the region and the welcoming hospitality of the community began looking for homes to buy. We thank those of you We accept most insurances including Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield and The Empire Plan (NYSHIP)