National Book Award-winning poet curates series of films, each of which explores the search for freedom.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (February 16, 2016) – The Nickelodeon Theatre, South Carolina’s only non-profit art house film theater, will host aGuest Curated Series by Nikky Finney, a National Book Award-winning poet. Each film Finney has selected explores the characters’ search for and definition of freedom. The Nick will screen each film on Mondays in March and Finney will introduce each film in person.
“The biggest idea that ran through the great political and cultural movements of the 60’s and 70’s was the quest and question of freedom. What does it mean to be free? Can freedom be given to you? Can it be promised?” said Finney. “Each of these films speaks to that question and that search. I have become the woman and writer that I am because of my own search for what freedom looks, sounds, feels like. “
Schedule of films (visit Nickelodeon.org for full film synopses):
4 LITTLE GIRLS, Director: Spike Lee: Monday, March 7 at 6:30 p.m.: Situating a tragedy into the context that gives it meaning, Spike Lee reconstructs the environment of racial unrest in 1963 Birmingham that precipitated a haunting act of white supremacist terrorism: the bombing of a black church that killed four little girls.
FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO, Director: Daniel Karslake:Monday, March 14 at 6:30 p.m.: Specious and selective readings of the Bible have formed the core of religious homophobia since gay rights became a public battle. This film examines such arguments—does the Bible really say what anti-gay activists claim?
WATTSTAX, Director: Mel Stewart: Monday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m.: In 1972, seven years after racial tension erupted into violence in South LA’s Watts neighborhood, the R&B label Stax mounted a day-long concert intended to bring the devastated community together. Intersplicing exuberant performances from the label’s heavyweights (Staple Singers, Isaac Hayes, a young Richard Pryor) and interviews with Watts’ residents about their experience, Wattstax is an emotionally multifaceted document of Black life.
WOLF, Director: Ya’Ke Smith: Monday, March 28 at 6:30 p.m.: A film of uniquely brave complexity, resistant to the answers and condemnations that allow an audience to mark distance from difficult emotional realities. A family, already strained by economic insecurity, loses one of its sources of stability when they learn that the son was molested—while the son struggles to understand what he feels for his abuser.
Finney has authored four books of poetry: Head Off & Split (2011); The World Is Round (2003); Rice (1995); and On Wings Made of Gauze (1985). The John H. Bennett, Jr. Chair in Creative Writing and Southern Letters at the University of South Carolina, Finney also authored Heartwood (1997), edited The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (2007), and co- founded the Affrilachian Poets. Finney’s fourth book of poetry, Head Off & Split, was awarded the 2011 National Book Award for poetry. Finney also serves on the Nickelodeon Theatre’s Board of Directors.