Film for thought 

With surveys showing that the American public supports the way the war on Iraq is being conducted, area lefties are gathering for a weekend of film and food. The intent is to nourish activist’s spirits.

“The films will inspire, inform and to a certain extent entertain socially conscious and activist-oriented individuals,” informs Ron Glotta, organizer of the event. “Our mission is to promote understanding of our history through films that arose out of the struggle, so that we can gain a better perspective on our future.”

Six films will be screened April 4-6. Showings will take place at various venues in and around the Wayne State University campus and University Cultural Center.

Among the fare: Salt of the Earth. Made by blacklisted filmmakers during the McCarthy era, the movie depicts a strike by Latino zinc miners in New Mexico, circa 1950. Another film, Finally Got The News, is a documentary that examines the upsurge of labor organizing among African-American workers in Detroit. Following that screening there will be a panel discussion featuring members of the Detroit Radical Union Movement. The other films being shown are: Comrade Sister, about the experience of women in the Black Panther Party; At The River I Stand, which looks at the latter stages of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, including his anti-war and pro-labor efforts; Strange Fruit, which examines the implications of the Billie Holiday song about lynching; and The Murder of Emmett Till, dealing with the killing of a young African-American.

All six films can be viewed with a three-day pass costing $20 (discounted for seniors and students), or $5 each.

The event also features a charity dinner Saturday night at Plymouth United Church of Christ, 600 E. Warren, Detroit. The dinner, which costs $35, will be highlighted by keynote speaker Amiri Baraka, the former poet laureate of New Jersey who sparked intense controversy with a poem that suggested the Israelis knew in advance about the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Baraka will talk about the use of the arts to agitate for change.

For more information call Glotta at 313-963-1320 or Tracey Martin-Henry at 313-258-8140.

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