Monday, April 5, 2010

Film showing: "Neshoba," Wednesday, April 7 at Crossroads Theatre at 7pm

      Donnie Betts* who directed “Neshoba” sent me the following information about the screening.  The  address is 2590 Washington in Five Points.  I was a childhood friend of Andy Goodman from first to fourth grade at Walden School in Manhattan.  My family moved to Connecticut.   I had not seen him for a number of years. In 1964, at Harvard,  I almost went on Freedom Summer, but had been on a dangerous freedom ride three years before in Chestertown, Maryland here and here, and could not quite bring myself to go.  Soon after, I heard that Andy was one of 3 civil rights workers who were missing.  Their bodies – James Cheney’s mutilated – were found in a dam 6 weeks later. “Neshoba” tracks the effects on the county of 40 years of denial; it follows the path of one of the organizers of the murder as he insists that lynching is the “law.”  If one wants to understand America even in this new era (the ferocity of reactionary ideas here) and the depths from which we have come, this film is profoundly worth seeing.

       “No Credits Productions – see - and donnie l. betts present as part of their Destination Freedom Week and continuing film series that deals with America's quest to become more human, the award winning film Neshoba. Wednesday April 7th at 7PM at Crossroads Theatre 2590 Washington Street in Historic Five Points. Tickets $14 plus tax and handling total ($16). 720- 748-1388 for tixs and information. Filmmaker Micki Dickoff will attend the screening as well as Alan Gilbert childhood friend of Andrew Goodman. Alan is a professor at the University of Denver. Neshoba tells the story of a Mississippi town still divided over the meaning of justice, 40 years after the murders of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner.  In the summer of 1964, these three young men, two whites from New York and a black from Mississippi - went to Philadelphia, a small town in the heart of Neshoba County, Mississippi, to register black voters and investigate a church burning.  When their bodies were found 44 days later buried beneath an earthen dam, many people rationalized the men came looking for trouble and got what they deserved. For more than forty years, Mississippi refused to prosecute any of the Klansmen directly responsible for the murders, even though they bragged openly about what they did.  While the killers continued to live and prosper, most townspeople remained silent, as if the murders never happened. On January 6, 2005, the State of Mississippi indicted the alleged mastermind of the killings, Edgar Ray Killen, an 80-year-old Baptist preacher and notorious racist. The filmmakers gained unprecedented access to Killen, following him for five months, from shortly after his indictment through his trial.  For the first time ever, the film captures the outspoken views of a Klan member charged with a civil rights murder and takes viewers on a journey into the mindset of a man who, to this day, feels the murders of two Jews and an African-American were justified as ‘self-defense’ of a way of life.           donnie betts”

1 comment:

Alan Gilbert said...

*Correction: Micki Dickhoff directed the movie. Donnie Betts has organized the festival celebrating the 50the anniversary of SNCC of which this film is a part.

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