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2011 Lowell Film Festival Program

The American Civil War:
Cinematic Depictions, Societal Legacies


View film trailers at our 2011 Lowell Film Festival YouTube Channel -
 
Click here and go to our "Favorites!"

Our thanks to Richard Howe, Jr. for his insight and contribution to the following content.

 

THURSDAY, APRIL 28

SPECIAL PROGRAM: Walking Tour of Civil War Lowell - led by Richard Howe, Jr.
6 PM - 6:45 PM / Tour starts at Ladd-Whitney Memorial on Arcand Drive & Merrimack Street. Tour Lowell's commemorative Civil War places with renowned local historian Richard Howe, Jr. Sites include the Ladd-Whitney Memorial, Boott Cotton Mill, and Old City Hall. Click here for tour map and site descriptions.


EXHIBIT: Lowell Civil War Artifacts at Lowell Gallery
14 Jackson Street
Gallery Hours: Thursday, Friday, Saturday  |  10 AM - 5 PM
In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the War between the States, the Lowell Gallery will exhibit its collection of original historical engravings, artifacts, books, antique documents, and collectibles relating to Lowell in The Civil War. Exhibit runs through June 30. More information: www.lowellgallery.com or 978-458-3137

 

EXHIBIT: "One Foot Square, Quilted & Bound" : Block-by-Block Quilts from 1837 - Present
New England Quilt Museum, 18 Shattuck Street
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday  |  10 AM - 4 PM
See this unique exhibit of historic quilts, including many made for recuperating Civil War soldiers. The exhibit also features never-before-displayed artifacts and fabrics from that conflict, as well as modern quilts and sculptures made using a technique rooted in 1830s New England. More information: www.nequiltmuseum.org

 

THURSDAY HEADLINE FILM
Glory (1989)  |
  The film on IMDb
Sponsored by the Department of History at UMass Lowell
7 PM / Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center, 246 Market Street. Special Performance of Civil War-era banjo songs by Alex Demas from 6:30 - 7PM! 
With its depiction of the Civil War's 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry -- the U.S. Army's first African American soldier regiment -- Glory overflows with many themes worthy of discussion: slavery, the abolitionist movement, the experience of black soldiers and their white officers, racism in the north, and the experience of battle are all present. Additionally, several residents of Lowell are known to have served in so-called "Colored Regiments" during the war, both as enlisted men and as officers. Glory is considered to be one of the most acclaimed Civil War films -- both the Golden Globe and the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor were awarded to Denzel Washington for his performance as Trip, an escaped slave who enlisted in the Infantry. Introduction by historian Richard P. Howe, JrRated R, 122 minutes.


FRIDAY, APRIL 29

SPECIAL PROGRAM: Walking Tour of Civil War Lowell - led by Richard Howe, Jr.
6 PM - 6:45 PM / Tour starts at Pollard Memorial Library, 401 Merrimack Street. Tour Lowell's commemorative Civil War places with renowned local historian Richard Howe, Jr. Sites include the Ladd-Whitney Memorial, Boott Cotton Mill, and Old City Hall. Click here for tour map and site descriptions.

 

EXHIBIT: Lowell Civil War Artifacts at Lowell Gallery
14 Jackson Street
Gallery Hours: Thursday, Friday, Saturday  |  10 AM - 5 PM
In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the War between the States, the Lowell Gallery will exhibit its collection of original historical engravings, artifacts, books, antique documents, and collectibles relating to Lowell in The Civil War. Exhibit runs through June 30. More information: www.lowellgallery.com or 978-458-3137

 

EXHIBIT: "One Foot Square, Quilted & Bound" : Block-by-Block Quilts from 1837 - Present
New England Quilt Museum, 18 Shattuck Street
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday  |  10 AM - 4 PM
See this unique exhibit of historic quilts, including many made for recuperating Civil War soldiers. The exhibit also features never-before-displayed artifacts and fabrics from that conflict, as well as modern quilts and sculptures made using a technique rooted in 1830s New England. More information: www.nequiltmuseum.org

 

 

FRIDAY HEADLINE FILM
Traces of the Trade - A Story from the Deep North 
 | 
Film website

Special Guest: James DeWolf Perry VI
7 PM / Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center, 246 Market Street. 
Producer/Director Katrina Browne invites audiences to bear witness to the story of her forefathers, the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history – a family of slave-traders living in the North. The film follows Browne and nine fellow family members on a remarkable journey, bringing them face-to-face with the Triangle Trade as they gain enlightenment and perspective on the black/white divide while rectifying their “Yankee” culture and heritage. This acclaimed film dispels the belief that slave trading was solely a Southern practice. We are pleased to have James DeWolf Perry VI as our Special Guest for Q&A after the film. Not rated, 86 minutes.



SATURDAY, APRIL 30

EXHIBIT: Lowell Civil War Artifacts at Lowell Gallery
14 Jackson Street
Gallery Hours: Thursday, Friday, Saturday  |  10 AM - 5 PM
In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the War between the States, the Lowell Gallery will exhibit its collection of original historical engravings, artifacts, books, antique documents, and collectibles relating to Lowell in The Civil War. Exhibit runs through June 30. More information: www.lowellgallery.com or 978-458-3137

 

EXHIBIT: "One Foot Square, Quilted & Bound" : Block-by-Block Quilts from 1837 - Present
New England Quilt Museum, 18 Shattuck Street
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday  |  10 AM - 4 PM
See this unique exhibit of historic quilts, including many made for recuperating Civil War soldiers. The exhibit also features never-before-displayed artifacts and fabrics from that conflict, as well as modern quilts and sculptures made using a technique rooted in 1830s New England. More information: www.nequiltmuseum.org

 

John Brown's Holy War (2000)  |  Film website
11 AM / 
Pollard Memorial Library, 401 Merrimack Street. From acclaimed director/producer Robert Kenner (Food, Inc.) comes a compelling portrait of John Brown -- martyr, madman, murderer, and hero -- who remains one of history's most controversial and misunderstood figures. In the 1850s, he and his ragtag guerrilla group embarked on a righteous crusade against slavery that was based on religious faith -- yet carried out with shocking violence. John Brown’s execution set off a chain of events that led to the Civil War. Not rated, 90 minutes.

 

The General (1926)  |  Film website
Sponsored by the Friends of the Pollard Memorial Library
11 AM / Boott Events Center / Boott Cotton Mills Museum, 115 Foot of John Street. Based on the true story of a locomotive called The General, this classic silent film is about the Civil War and the Union’s near foolproof attempt to steal the train engine, in order to weaken the military forces of the South. Buster Keaton plays Johnny Gray, an engineer who attempts to rescue the missing train engine. The lovely Marion Mack is Keaton's comedic co-star, who just happens to get herself caught up in all of the action. The film immerses the viewer in the use of trains in the Civil War, an underappreciated strategic advancement that drastically changed the nature of warfare. Worth noting is that much of the action in The General takes place in the Tennessee Theater, which is typically ignored in popular history and culture. The film was inducted into the National Film Registry in 1989 by the Library of Congress and is considered to be Keaton's finest work. Rated G, 75 minutes.


SPECIAL PROGRAM: Walking Tour of Civil War Lowell - led by Richard Howe, Jr.
12:30 - 1:30 PM / Tour starts at Pollard Memorial Library, 401 Merrimack Street. 
Tour Lowell's commemorative Civil War places with renowned local historian Richard Howe, Jr. Sites include the Ladd-Whitney Memorial, Boott Cotton Mill, and Old City Hall. Click here for tour map and site descriptions.


Lessons for the Living (2010) |  Film website
1:30 PM / Boott Events Center at Boott Cotton Mills Museum, 115 Foot of John Street. 
Moving through New York City's fast-paced momentum, life often appears as a blur. Yet within this city, a group of people quietly seek solace by spending time with the dying – through their eyes, we learn that "the dying have a great deal to offer the living." With 625,000 deaths to combat and to disease, the Civil War transformed the way in which Americans viewed death and the rituals of death. This theme is explored in Drew Faust's 2008 book "This Republic of Suffering." Today, in America and around the globe, hospice workers, visiting nurses and everyday citizens provide round-the-clock care for millions of terminally ill people as well as support and compassion for their loved ones. It might be impossible to imagine a time when these crucial caregiving networks did not exist. Not rated, 55 minutes.

 

World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements (2010)  |  Film website
2 PM / 
Pollard Memorial Library, 401 Merrimack Street. Under the leadership of their teacher John Hunter, a fourth grade class in Charlottesville, VA, spends eight weeks playing "The World Peace Game,” a political simulation game. Hot off its world premiere at the 2010 SXSW Film Festival and currently on tour, Chris Farina’s brilliant, inspiring film also traces Hunter’s unique teaching career which emerged from his own experiences as an African-American student attending school in segregated Virginia. Developed by Hunter, The World Peace Game yielded this response from one of his students: "You can't be all about war but, and this is going to sound really bad, you can't be all about peace either.” The conflict over slavery had persisted since the founding of the American public, but civil war had been averted for nearly a century, but when Abraham Lincoln decided to resupply Fort Sumter in April 1861, his actions guaranteed that war would begin. Was war inevitable? Was it necessary? Not rated, 60 minutes.

 

Moving Midway (2007)  |  Film website
2:30 PM / Boott Events Center at Boott Cotton Mills Museum, 115 Foot of John Street. Descendants of the builders of Midway Plantation try to physically move the remaining buildings of the North Carolina plantation to make room for big box retail establishments. As a consequence of this effort, the extended family of the plantation owner is drawn together and united with a previously unknown African-American branch of the family. This movie directly addresses some of the long term social consequences of the Civil War, including the fascinating black-white genealogy that exists due to intimate relations between slaves and their owners. There is also a bit of a Lowell connection: in 1894 when Middlesex County decided to build a bigger courthouse on Gorham Street, they moved the existing building 60 feet backward and constructed a new courthouse in its place. Not rated, 95 minutes.


Chicago 10: Speak Your Peace (2007)  |  Film website
4 PM / United Teen Equality Center, 34 Hurd Street. A partially animated re-enactment of the 1969 trial of the Chicago Eight conspirators whose alleged crimes arose out of protests against the Vietnam War at the 1968 Democratic Convention. In his Memoirs, Ulysses S Grant frequently explains that while the South was essentially a totalitarian regime that tolerated no opposition to the war, opponents of the conflict in the North were quite active and open. Grant explains that part of the motivation of much of his military strategy was the effect it would have on the battle for public opinion in the north. Rated R, 110 minutes.

 

SATURDAY HEADLINE FILM
Gone With the Wind (1939)  |
 
Film website

Sponsored by the Department of History at UMass Lowell
7 PM / NEW VENUE! UMass Lowell Comley-Lane Theatre (South Campus), 870 Broadway Street. With its legendary cast and Hollywood depiction of the Civil War and the Old South, this 1930s Academy Award-winning epic directed by Victor Fleming won the hearts of millions. However, Fleming’s adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s best-selling novel has also been called “bloated,” “sexist,” and “overly acted,” and has earned high criticism for its overt racism and glorification of slave life. Through its perceived inaccuracies and POPULAR portrayal of plantation life, audiences and critics have deemed GWTW ripe for discussion. As a cinematic piece, the film earned a whopping 13 Oscar nominations, including a Best Supporting Actress nomination and a win for actress Hattie McDaniel (Mammy), the first African-American to receive an Academy Award. Rated G, 238 minutes.


All film screenings at the Lowell Film Festival are FREE admission (excludes exhibits)
Seating to all films is GENERAL ADMISSION - no tickets required