Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189
March 25, 1994
Library of Congress To Screen "Birth of a Nation"
Public Discussion To Follow
On Sunday, April 24, the Library of Congress and the Washington, D.C. International Film Festival will offer a screening of D.W. Griffith's classic silent film "The Birth of a Nation," with live musical accompaniment by Martin Marks, noted musicologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The screening, in the AFI Theater of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, will begin at 7:45 p.m. Tickets are required. The AFI Theater box office is open from 5 to 9 p.m. daily. Call (202) 785-4600 for information.
On the following day, Monday, April 25, the Library will sponsor a free public discussion of the film from 7 to 9:30 p.m. in the Mumford Room of the Library's Madison Building.
Among the distinguished guests invited to discuss the film are:
Thomas Cripps, the foremost historian of African Americans in the cinema and author of a number of pioneering works in the field, including Slow Fade to Black and Making Movies Black. He is University Distinguished Professor at Morgan State University and visiting professor of Afro-American Studies at Harvard University.
John Hope Franklin, professor of legal history at Duke University Law School. He is the former John Matthews Manly Distinguished Service professor of history at the University of Chicago and James B. Duke professor of history at Duke University. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including From Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negro Americans, now in its sixth edition.
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington will serve as moderator.
Dr. Billington said that "the Library has been planning for more than a year a public discussion of the context and repercussions of this film and the role of art in the misrepresentation of history."
The Library's Mary Pickford Theater will also offer a free screening of the film on Tuesday, April 26, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. For reservations, call (202) 707-5677 Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., beginning April 19.
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