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Screenwriters of two important films participating in symposium at IU's Black Film Center/Archive

03/22/2010

The Indiana University Black Film Center/Archive Wednesday, March 24 and Thursday, March 25 will host its second major program this spring, a symposium devoted to the study of "Cinematic Representations of Racial Conflict in Real Time."

 

Awarded a New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities: New Perspectives grant in 2009, the symposium will reassess two classic films in black cinema -- Michael Roemer's 1964 movie "Nothing But a Man" and Ivan Dixon's 1973 adaptation of Sam Greenlee's controversial book, The Spook Who Sat by the Door. In addition, the 1989 documentary by Deb Ellis and Denis Mueller, "The FBI's War on Black America," will have its local premier during the symposium.

 

Greenlee, who also wrote the screenplay, Mueller and Robert M. Young, the screenwriter and co-producer of "Nothing But a Man" and an accomplished director for television and film, will join a dozen film scholars and historians who will discuss the films and their continued significance today.

 

Free screenings for the first two films will take place Tuesday (March 23) at the new home of the Black Film Center Archive, located in suite 044B of the Herman B Wells Library. "The Spook Who Sat by the Door," will shown at 9:30 a.m., and "Nothing But a Man," will be shown at 7 p.m., while "The FBI's War on Black America" will be shown at 2 p.m., Wednesday (March 24), in the same location.

 

The symposium will begin at 6 p.m., Wednesday, with a panel discussion of "Nothing But a Man," a landmark independent film set in the Jim Crow South that was the first dramatic story featuring a largely black cast intended for an integrated audience. It was included in the National Film Registry in 1993.

 

At 9:30 a.m., Thursday, a second panel will discuss "The Spook Who Sat by the Door,"