When a film reaches the screen, there’s often an equally compelling story of how it made it that far. These and other hero stories will come to light this winter at the Hopkins Center for the Arts in four”film specials” – screenings followed with in-person discussions with people involved in each film’s making.
Along the way we’ll meet Dartmouth alumni who are making significant films … women who have emerged, against the odds, in that male-dominated realm … and people whose story a film tells.
Here are the films – and people – in store:
25 Prospect Street, Saturday, Jan 19, 5 pm, Lowe Auditorium. Discussion follows with Prospector founder Valerie Jensen and some current Prospects.
25 Prospect Street is the story of how Valerie Jensen, an unshakable former school teacher, transformed an abandoned bank into the Prospector Theater: a state-of-the-art movie palace that provides unprecedented opportunities for people with disabilities and a real shot at being successful and self-sufficient for the first time in their lives.
Director Kaveh Taherian tracks the emotional first year of the fledgling cinema, while following the missteps and giant leaps of the new recruits, many of whom are earning their first paychecks. Along the way, the growing distance between Valerie and her younger sister Hope—who has Down syndrome and was the original inspiration for the Prospector—proves an even greater challenge: Hope has goals of her own which don’t involve working at the theater or even spending time with her sister.
Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World, Sunday, January 20, 4 pm, Loew Auditorium. Discussion follows with director Catherine Bainbridge.
Rumble shows how Indigenous music was part of the very fabric of American popular music from the beginning, but that the Native American contribution was left out of the story—until now. Among the many Indian musicians we meet or see new sides of are American Indian rock guitarist and singer/songwriter Link Wray, whose 1958 instrumental “Rumble” was arguably the most influential single in the history of rock; Father of the Delta Blues Charley Patton; influential jazz singer Mildred Bailey; metaphysical guitar wizard Jimi Hendrix; and folk heroine Buffy Sainte-Marie.
Rumble uses playful re-creations and little-known stories alongside concert footage, archives and interviews. The stories of these iconic Native musicians are told by some of America’s greatest music legends who knew them, played music with them, and were inspired by them: everyone from Buddy Guy, Quincy Jones and Tony Bennett to Iggy Pop, Steven Tyler and Stevie Van Zandt.
Reversing Roe, Friday, January 25, 7 pm, Spaulding Auditorium. Discussion follows with directors Ricki Stern ’87 and Annie Sundberg ’90, Senator Wendy Davis and Dr. Colleen McNicholas.
One in four women will get an abortion in their lifetime. The right for them to do so was guaranteed by the Supreme Court’s 1978 decision in Roe v. Wade—but as Ricki Stern ’87 and Annie Sundberg ’90 chronicle in their powerful, urgent documentary, it is far from settled law. This deep-dive into history reveals how reproductive rights became a key point of leverage for religious groups hoping to influence government … and vice versa.
Capturing the energy of this critical moment, Reversing Roe brings together a range of voices—feminists, politicians, healthcare providers, priests and activists—on all sides of the debate. The film celebrates those individuals, including Senator Wendy Davis, who have sought to preserve safe healthcare options for women, and provides the best record yet of a decades-long battle.
A Private War, Friday, March 1, 7 pm, Loew Auditorium. Discussion follows with director Matthew Heineman ’05.
One of the most celebrated war correspondents of our time, Marie Colvin (Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl) is an utterly fearless and rebellious spirit, driven to the frontlines of conflicts around the globe to give voice to the voiceless, while constantly testing the limits between bravery and bravado. After being hit by a grenade in Sri Lanka, she wears a distinctive eye patch and is still as comfortable sipping martinis with London’s elite (Stanley Tucci) as she is confronting dictators. Her mission to show the true cost of war leads her and her photographer (Jamie Dornan) to embark on the most dangerous assignment of their lives in the Syrian city of Homs, where she seeks to refute President Bashar al-Assad’s bold-faced lie that he wasn’t bombing his own people.
In his commitment to capturing the ongoing crisis in Syria, City of Ghosts documentary director Matthew Heineman ’05 makes a pulse-pounding narrative debut with this psychologically immersive, unflinching drama.