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Jul 30

James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket

Dir. Karen Thorsen & Douglas K. Dempsey USA 87 min Not Rated

1989

Discussion with directors Karen Thorsen and Douglas K. Dempsy will follow this free screening, presented with Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts and The Union for Contemporary Art.

An emotional portrait, a social critique, and a passionate plea for human equality, JAMES BALDWIN: THE PRICE OF THE TICKET is now considered a classic. The digitally restored film celebrates the memory of James Baldwin, one of the greatest writers and civil rights activists of the 20th Century, who would have turned ninety on August 2. Without using narration, the film allows Baldwin to tell his own story: exploring what it means to be born black, impoverished, gay and gifted — in a world that had yet to understand that all men are brothers.

BALDWIN is a vérité feast. Intercutting rarely-seen archival footage from over one hundred sources and nine different countries, the film melds intimate interviews and eloquent public speeches with astounding private glimpses of Baldwin. The film also includes a rich selection of original footage: scenes from Baldwin’s extraordinary funeral service; explorations of Baldwin’s homes on three continents, including France, Switzerland, Turkey and Harlem; plus on-camera interviews with close friends, colleagues and critics. Commentators include his brother David; biographer David Leeming; writers Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka, William Styron, Ishmael Reed and Yashar Kemal; painter Lucien Happersberger; and entertainer Bobby Short.

This filmmaker screening is a part of the celebration for Native Omaha Days, which kicks off on July 27 and is a bi-annual event celebrating North Omaha’s historical and cultural legacies.

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