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‘Neshoba’ to Close Civil Rights Cinema Series

The critically acclaimed new documentary examines the murders of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner – and their aftermath

YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio – September 13, 2010 – Antioch College will conclude its Civil Rights Cinema series at 7:00 p.m. Sept. 23 at The Little Art Theatre, 247 Xenia Ave., with a screening of Neshoba: The Price of Freedom, a documentary that tells the story of a Mississippi town still divided about the meaning of justice 40 years after the murders of young civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner.

The screening will be followed by a discussion with Arthur E. Morgan Fellows Anne Bohlen and Jean Gregorek. Bohlen is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and Gregorek is a former Antioch College professor of literature. The film series was held in conjunction with the multimedia exhibition about 1964's Freedom Summer Project, “Oh Freedom Over Me.”

Directed by Mickie Dickoff and Tony Pagano, Neshoba covers a subject very close to Antioch College. Michael Schwerner’s brother, Steve served as dean of students from 1976 to 1991 and as a professor from 1991 to 2003. He taught courses in education, psychology, jazz history and the civil rights movement, which he participated in while an Antioch student in the late 1950s. Andrew Goodman’s younger brother, David, graduated from Antioch College in 1969.

Speaking to the BBC World Service recently, David Goodman said: “It’s a story that resonates around the world … If you believe all people are created equally, you may be called upon as a citizen to fight for what you believe in.”

In June of 1964, at the very beginning of the Freedom Summer Project, the young civil rights workers sent to investigate the burning of a black community center in Neshoba County suddenly vanished. The disappearance of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner became an international scandal and the subsequent revelation of their murders by the Ku Klux Klan woke the conscience of the nation.

This film tells their story, and the story of the 40-year quest for justice that followed. Through candid interviews with the man ultimately convicted of manslaughter, with the families of the victims, and with various black and white Neshoba County citizens, the film explores whether the prosecution of one unrepentant Klansman constitutes justice, and under what conditions healing and reconciliation are ultimately possible.

Contact Jean Gregorek (937-286-5934) or Anne Bohlen (937-286-8455). Send e-mails to jgregorek@antiochcollege.org.

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Gariot P. Louima 

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