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‘Screening Free Speech’ film festival at Syracuse University focuses on threats to free speech, freedom of expression
‘Screening Free Speech’ film festival at Syracuse University focuses on threats to free speech, freedom of expressionOctober 09, 2007Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
“Screening Free Speech,” a film festival celebrating the First Amendment, will be held Friday, Oct. 19-Sunday, Oct. 21, at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
The festival is part of the Newhouse School’s yearlong celebration of the First Amendment and is sponsored by the Tully Center for Free Speech in the Newhouse School and the 2007 Syracuse Symposium, presented by The College of Arts and Sciences.
The festival includes more than 10 films, long and short, fiction and documentary, which explore threats to free speech in our public and private lives. A discussion of the film will follow each screening. A complete schedule and details about the films to be shown can be found at http://tully.syr.edu/events_detail.cfm?event=10.
The film screenings are free and open to the public. Parking is available in the Waverly and Hillside lots on Friday and Sunday and for $7 on Saturday in the Booth Garage (garage closes two hours after the completion of the football game).
An opening reception will kick off the festival on Friday at 6 p.m. in the Newhouse III lobby. David Rubin, dean of the Newhouse School, will offer a keynote address at 6:30 p.m. in the Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium in Newhouse III.
The film screenings, which all take place in the Newhouse III building, include:
- Friday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. in the Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium — “The First Amendment Project” (2004,) is a trio of short films thematically connected as examples of free speech challenged by authority. The films are “Some Assembly Required” (30 minutes), following protesters at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City, illustrating the conflict between the need for security and the First Amendment right to peaceful assembly; “Fox v. Franken” (20 minutes), chronicling how Al Franken takes on media giant Fox; and “Poetic License” (24 minutes) a look at writer and political activist Amiri Baraka, New Jersey’s third poet laureate, one of whose poems created accusations of anti-Semitism. Andy Robinson, an instructor in the Newhouse School and general manager of the Orange Television Network, will lead the discussion following the films.
- Friday, Oct. 19, at 7:30 p.m. in the Robert Halmi Jr. Screening Room — “The ACLU Freedom Files” (2005) is a trio of programs from the Court TV television series that raise provocative issues about religious freedom, student speech and the right to dissent. Films include “Youth Speak” (27 minutes), “Dissent” (28 minutes) and “Religious Freedom” (29 minutes). Each program tells the stories of real ACLU clients and reveals how civil liberties are everyday concerns for ordinary Americans. Barrie Gewanter, director of the Central New York ACLU, will lead the discussion following the screening.
- Saturday, Oct. 20, at 2 p.m. in the Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium — “The People vs. Larry Flynt” (1996, 129 minutes). Milos Forman’s film chronicles the life of Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt and his battle to protect his right to publish the magazine as the limits of free speech are threatened by public standards of taste and morality. David Coryell, a screenwriter and instructor in the Newhouse School, will lead the after-film discussion.
- Saturday, Oct. 20, at 2:30 p.m. in the Robert Halmi Jr. Screening Room — “McLibel” (2005, 85 minutes) tackles the question “Do large corporations have the right to stifle free speech to protect their right to conduct business and sell hamburgers?” The documentary is the inside story of how a single father and a part-time bar worker took on the McDonald’s Corp. and were transformed from anonymous campaigners against the fast food giant into unlikely global heroes. Richard Breyer, professor of television-radio-film, will lead the discussion that follows.
- Saturday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. in the Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium — “Free Speech for Sale” (1999, 57 minutes) is a documentary featuring Bill Moyers and legal and public interest advocates who examine how industries with deep pockets use their access to the media to overwhelm the public debate, from North Carolina’s hog industry to the defeat of the McCain Tobacco Bill to the passage of the Telecom Act of 1996. Patricia Longstaff, professor of television-radio-film, will lead the discussion that follows.
- Saturday, Oct. 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the Robert Halmi Jr. Screening Room — “U.S. vs. John Lennon” (2006, 99 minutes) is a documentary about John Lennon’s transformation from a member of the Beatles to an anti-war activist to inspirational icon and why the U.S. government tried to silence him. Film critic and author Doug Brode will lead the ensuing discussion.
- Sunday, Oct. 21, at 2 p.m. in the Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium — “Pledge of Allegiance Blues” (2005, 72 minutes), follows Michael Newdow, a Sacramento, Calif., man who challenged the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, a few months after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Congress violated the Constitution by adding the phrase to the pledge in 1954. The filmmaker, Lisa Seidenberg, will discuss the film and answer questions.
- Sunday, Oct. 21, at 2:30 p.m. in the Robert Halmi Jr. Screening Room — “The First Amendment Project.” See Oct. 19 listing for details.
- Sunday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. in the Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium — “This Film is Not Yet Rated” (2006, 97 minutes) is a documentary that exposes the standards and practices of the Motion Picture Association of America. Richard Dubin, Professor of Practice in television-radio-film, will lead the discussion.
- Sunday, Oct. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Robert Halmi Jr. Screening Room — “Fahrenheit 451” (1966, 112 minutes), Francois Truffaut’s film version of Ray Bradbury’s original story is a complex cinematic treatment of this parable about man’s endless attempt to control the minds of other men. Peter Moller, professor of television-radio-film, will lead the discussion.
The Tully Center for Free Speech at the Newhouse School educates the University community and the public about the important value of free speech. Through educational programming, resources and research, the center strives to contribute to the discussion of media law and free speech issues. For more information, visit http://tully.syr.edu.
The Syracuse Symposium is a semester-long intellectual and artistic festival, hosted by SU’s College of Arts and Sciences, that celebrates interdisciplinary thinking, imagination and creation. The theme for the 2007 series is “Justice.” For more information, visit http://symposium.syr.edu.