Free Screening – Film Freedom Riders
Freedom Riders is the powerful harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever
It is hard to imagine a feature film conveying the events with a more vivid sense of drama or suspense. The commentators — the riders themselves, historians, politicians, civil rights leaders — have mostly been chosen for an uncanny ability to convey the tension in a present-tense reconstruction. Blowhards and professors of the obvious have been excised, and the archival photographs and news clips have been edited down to those most affecting and lyrical.
The story told begins like this: On Mother’s Day in 1961 two buses departed Atlanta headed for Birmingham, Ala. CORE leaders assumed that the activists would confront hostility, but they had no idea what would follow. The first bus was burned in Anniston, Ala. Occupants of the second forged on with no knowledge of what their compatriots had just encountered. The riders possessed a fearlessness that leads you to imagine that even if cellphone technology had existed and had allowed them to be warned, little about their plans would have changed.