Special Programs

Date Film Time
1/23 King: A Filmed Record…Montgomery to Memphis 5 pm
1/29 The Short Films of Kamran Shirdel  7 pm
1/30 The Trials of Muhammad Ali 7 pm
Join us this January as we present several documentary works, both new and newly restored, about human rights issues, injustice, and inequality—from Tennessee to Tehran. Two of these films celebrate public figures: the recently restored King: A Filmed Record…Montgomery to Memphis—an epic record of Martin Luther King’s speeches and public appearances—and Chicago-based Kartemquin Films’ new documentary The Trials of Muhammad Ali—a portrait of the beloved boxer and activist. Finally, we’ll present classic short films by celebrated Iranian documentarian Kamran Shirdel, whose films were banned in his own country and offer rare glimpses of Iran and the struggles of many of its residents in the 1960s and 70s.

King: A Filmed Record…Montgomery to Memphis

Thursday, January 23, 2014 5:00 PM FREE
(Ely Landau, Richard Kaplan, Sidney Lumet, Joseph Mankiewicz, 1970, USA, DCP, 181 min.)

A masterfully assembled film consisting mostly of archival footage without narration, King documents Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s civil rights activism from 1955 to 1968. Originally screened as a one-night-only event in 1970, the film has been restored by the Library of Congress so that future generations can better understand this remarkable and turbulent time in our nation’s all-too recent past. From speeches to arrests, from the Montgomery bus protests to the shockwaves caused by his assassination, King is a powerful reminder of how far the civil rights movement has come, and a precious record of one of the greatest leaders in American history.

Complimentary refreshments will be offered during the intermission. This program is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, and is part of Northwestern University’s weeklong celebration (January 20-27) of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Please see http://www.northwestern.edu/mlk/ for a complete list of related events.

The Short Films of Kamran Shirdel

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 7:00 PM
(Kamran Shirdel, 1965-1974, Iran, DVCam, 85 min,)

Kamran Shirdel (b. 1939) is one of Iran’s best-known documentarians and whose films offer rare glimpses of his country and the struggles of his countrymen and women. Shirdel studied filmmaking in Rome in the 1960s and was deeply influenced by Italian neorealism. Often covering taboo subjects, including the plight of the poor in an otherwise oil-rich nation, his films were banned by the Shah’s government and were impossible to see for many years. This program brings together a quartet of his finest works. Collectively known as “The Four Blacks” these films—The Night It Rained, Women's Quarter, Women's Prison, and Tehran Is the Capital of Iran—illustrate the dark side of Iran and the struggles of its underprivileged citizens.

Introduced by Dr. Hamid Naficy, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani Professor in Communication. Co-sponsored by the Department of Radio/TV/Film

The Trials of Muhammad Ali

Thursday, January 30, 2014 7:00 PM FREE
(Bill Siegel, 2013, USA, DCP, 92 min.)

With his amazing athletic prowess, his showmanship, and his eloquence, there seems to be no shortage of films about the legendary boxer. The Trials of Muhammad Ali, by Chicago’s own Kartemquin Films, digs deeper, uncovering the man behind the myth and his role as a civil rights and political figure, including his anti-war activism and refusal to go to Vietnam and the fight to overturn a subsequent five-year prison sentence. Covering his early days as Kentucky-born fighter Cassius Clay, his conversion to Islam and name change, the stigma perpetuated by the media, and the present day, the film illustrates his perseverance during difficult times, peeling back the image of the outspoken champion and presenting Ali in his greatest battle, the fight for his own personal and political convictions.

Co-presented with Inspire Media. After the screening, there will be a Q&A with Rachel Pikelny, the film's producer and an NU alumnus.