Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS -

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 ger­ry­har­ring­ton@mind­ De­tails are also avail­able at movieswith­ 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)

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