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Larger Than Life: the American Civil Rights Movement in Documentaries

Venue: Online (Screenings & After-screening talks); Africa Center Hong Kong (Talk) 
Date: 2021.02.25 - 2021.03.01
Price: Free of charge 
To commemorate Black History Month and promote cultural and racial harmony in Hong Kong, moving image showcase Larger Than Life: the American Civil Rights Movement in Documentaries introduces major forces of the African-American civil rights movement with a focus from the 1950s to 1970s, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, the Black Panthers and Shirley Chisholm. Their philosophies still affect racial, class and gender relations in America and the world to this day. This is an occasion to celebrate their influential roles in contributing to the social progress towards greater political and cultural understanding. There will be after-screening talks to further introduce the featured legendary figures, and a talk on racial relations in Hong Kong to accompany this showcase. 

Programme Schedule:
25/2 (Thu) 8:00pm* ** King in the Wilderness
26/2 (Fri) 8:00pm* ** Malcolm X: Make It Plain
27/2 (Sat) 8:00pm* ** The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
28/2 (Sun) 8:00pm* ** Chisholm ‘72: Unbought & Unbossed
1/3 (Mon) 8:00pm** Talk: Racial Relations in Hong Kong

*With online after-screening talk
**Conducted in English
All the films will be in spoken English. Only Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed has English subtitles.

King in the Wilderness
Director: Peter Kunhardt

Outstanding Historical Documentary, News & Documentary, Emmy Awards 2019
Nominated for Outstanding Documentary (Television), Image Awards (NAACP, US) 2019
Sundance Film Festival 2018

United States | 2018 | 111 mins | Colour | In English | Digital

“Non-violence can be as contagious as violence.” — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

25/2 (Thu) 8:00pm
*With online after-screening talk to start at 10:00pm. Conducted in English.
Guest: Dr Jason Todd Petrulis (Assistant Professor of Global History, Literature and Cultural Studies, The Education University of Hong Kong)

Born in 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Martin Luther King was an American Baptist minister and social activist who led the civil rights movement in the United States from the mid-1950s until his death by assassination in 1968. His leadership was a fundamental success in ending the legal segregation of African Americans in the South and other parts of the United States. He promoted his cause through non-violent tactics to achieve civil rights. His most famous work is his “I Have a Dream” (1963) speech, in which he spoke of his dream of an America that is void of segregation and racism. He was awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
King’s leadership during the bus boycotts, the sit-ins, and the historic Selma-to-Montgomery marches is now considered the stuff of legend. King in the Wilderness reveals the last three years of King, a conflicted leader who, after the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965, faced an onslaught of criticism from both sides of the political spectrum; the Black Power movement saw his non-violence as weakness, and President Lyndon B. Johnson saw his anti-Vietnam War speeches as irresponsible. King’s fervent belief in peaceful protest became a testing point for a nation on the brink of chaos. With clarity and compassion, filmmaker Peter Kunhardt invites a sense of penetrating intimacy and insight into one of the most profound thinkers of our time.

Malcolm X: Make It Plain
Director: Orlando Bagwell

George Forster Peabody Award 1994
Gold Award and Grand Prize, The New York Festivals 1994
Grand Prize, National Education Association 1994
Won Best Research, and nominated for Best Editing, Emmy Awards 1994

United States | 1994 | 139 mins | Colour | In English | Digital

Interviewer, “Do you consider yourself militant?”
Malcolm X, “I consider myself Malcolm.”

26/2 (Fri) 8:00pm
*With online after-screening talk to start at 10:40pm. Conducted in English.

Moderator: Professor Gordon Mathews, Department of Anthropology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Denise Greene (Associate Producer of Malcolm X: Make It Plain)
Jean Tsien (Editor of Malcolm X: Make It Plain)
Sandra Christie (Associate Editor of Malcolm X: Make It Plain)

Karen McMullen (Assistant Editor of Malcolm X: Make It Plain, Programmer of the Tribeca Film Festival)

Malcolm X was an American Muslim minister and an influential figure in the Nation of Islam. He propagated concepts of race pride and Black nationalism in the early 1960s and became a popular figure during the civil rights movement, and was eventually assassinated in 1965. The widespread distribution of his life story - The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965) - made him an ideological hero, especially among Black youth.
Malcolm X: Make It Plain chronicles Malcolm X’s remarkable journey from his birth in 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska, to his death in New York City. His compelling story is told through the memories of people who had close personal and working relationships with him, including his wife, Betty Shabazz; his oldest daughter, Attallah Shabazz; Nation of Islam associates, including Wallace D. Muhammad, the son of Elijah Muhammad; and writer, Maya Angelou. The film also shows how he inspired the Black Panther Party and gives vent to the heat that still whips through America's struggle with civil rights.

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
Director: Stanley Nelson Jr.

Outstanding Documentary (Film), Image Awards (NAACP, US) 2016
Top Five Documentaries, National Board of Review (US) 2015
Nominated for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking, Primetime Emmy Awards 2016
Nominated for Best Documentary, Stockholm Film Festival 2015
Sundance Film Festival 2015

United States | 2015 | 115 mins | Colour | In English | Digital

“We’ve never advocated violence; violence is inflicted upon us. But we do believe in self-defense for ourselves and for black people.” – Huey Newton, Co-Founder of the Black Panther Party

27/2 (Sat) 8:00pm
*With online after-screening talk to start at 10:05pm. Conducted in English.
Moderator: Dr Jason Todd Petrulis (Assistant Professor of Global History, Literature and Cultural Studies, The Education University of Hong Kong)
Guest: Stanley Nelson Jr. (Director of  The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution)

The Black Panther Party was founded in 1966 in Oakland, California. The party’s original purpose was to patrol African American neighbourhoods to protect residents from acts of police brutality. The Panthers eventually developed into a Marxist revolutionary group. The organisation operated chapters in several major American cities from 1966 until 1982, with international chapters in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s, and in Algeria from 1969 to 1972. The Party's history is still controversial today.
In the turbulent 1960s, change was coming to America and the fault lines could no longer be ignored - cities were burning, Vietnam was exploding, and disputes raged over equality and civil rights. A new revolutionary culture was emerging and it sought to drastically transform the system. The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense would, for a short time, put itself at the vanguard of that change. The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution is the first feature-length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party, its significance to the broader American culture, its cultural and political awakening for black people, and the painful lessons wrought when a movement derails.

Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed
Director: Shola Lynch
Excellence in Broadcasting, Peabody Awards 2006
Nominated for Grand Jury Prize (Documentary), Sundance Film Festival 2004
Nominated for Best Documentary, Black Reel Awards 2006
Nominated for Best Documentary and Truer Than Fiction Award, Film Independent Spirit Awards 2006

United States | 2004 | 76 mins | Colour | In English with English subtitles | Digital

“Granny gave me strength, dignity, and love. I learned from an early age that I was somebody. I didn't need the black revolution to tell me that.” – Shirley Chisholm

28/2 (Sun) 8:00pm
*With online after-screening talk to start at 9:35pm. Conducted in English.
Guest: Professor Gina Marchetti (Director of the Center for the Study of Globalization and Cultures, Department of Comparative Literature, The University of Hong Kong)

Shirley Chisholm was born to immigrant parents 1924 in Brooklyn, New York. She was a politician, educator and author, and was the first African American woman to be elected to the US Congress in 1968. In 1972, she became the first African American candidate for a major party's nomination for President of the United States, and the first woman to run for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. She did not win and continued in politics until her retirement from Congress in 1982. After several strokes, Chisholm died in 2005. The legend inscribed on her burial vault in the cemetery reads, "Unbought and Unbossed". In 2015, Chisholm was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed is a compelling documentary that takes an in-depth look at a watershed event in American politics, the 1972 presidential campaign of Chisholm. The political establishment and the media shunned Chisholm, but with her wit, spirit and charisma, she won an impressive amount of support mainly by a motley crew of blacks, feminists, and young voters. Their campaign-trail adventures were frenzied and fierce. This film features interviews with Chisholm and the dedicated individuals who worked on her groundbreaking campaign.

Registration for screenings starts on Hong Kong Movie 6 now.
#Due to the limited number of entries, a deposit of $80 will be required to reserve a seat. There will be a full refund upon a successful virtual check-in to the screening. Your understanding is much appreciated.
Online screening platform: Vimeo
Online after-screening talk platfor: Zoom

Ticketing and screening procedures:
  1. Reserve your ticket(s) on Hong Kong Movie 6
  2. A confirmation email will be sent to our patrons from Hong Kong Movie 6 
  3. A virtual check-in will be required for every screening event in this programme. Instruction on how to check in will be e-mailed to you 30 minutes before respective screenings starts by the Hong kong Arts Centre, along with the screening links and passwords as well as the access to the online after-screening talks#
  4. The link and password are valid for three hours from the screening time.

Talk: Racial Relations in Hong Kong
Date and time: 1/3 (Mon) 8pm
Venue: Africa Center Hong Kong (Africa Center Hong Kong, 12/F, 21 Hillwood Road, Tsim Sha Tsui) (Go online in case of COVID-19 restrictions)
 •  Professor John Nguyet Erni (Chair Professor in Humanities; Head, Department of Humanities and Creative Writing, Hong Kong Baptist University)
 •  Phyllis Cheung (Executive Director, Hong Kong Unison)
 •  Father Franco Mella (Catholic Priest)
 •  Innocent Mutanga (Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Africa Center Hong Kong)

To accompany the film showcase, there will be a talk on racial relations in Hong Kong. It will introduce and discuss the lives of Africans and other ethnic minorities in Hong Kong, how advocates have been assisting ethnic minorities’ strive for equal rights and how people work together to bridge different ethnic communities in the city.

The talk is free for the public to join on a first-come-first-served basis.
Click here to sign up now.

Programme enquiries: 2824 5310
Mobile ticketing app booking: Hong Kong Movie (Android & iPhone versions)
Ticketing enquiries: 3728 2566 (10:00-19:00 Weekdays)
Internet booking: www.hkmovie6.com

While it is the HKAC’s policy to secure the best possible screening versions of our presented films, the HKAC appreciates our patrons’ understanding of the occasional less than perfect screening versions. Thank you for your kind consideration.
Co-Presenters: Hong Kong Arts Centre, U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong & Macau
In Association with: Hong Kong Africa Center
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