Documentaries from widely disparate producers were screened recently at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville.
Students in the eighth grade at the Benjamin Turner Middle School in Mount Vernon were given the opportunity to see how films they made based on lessons learned from the civil rights era looked on the big screen in Jacob Burns’ 249-seat main theater.
The students benefited from the program Created Equal, a collaboration between the film center and the Brooklyn Historical Society designed to inspire middle-school students to learn the history of an influential moment of the civil rights movement in the U.S. while sharing their own personal stories through multimedia art creations. This was the first year that Created Equal has been offered in Westchester.
On Memorial Day, the HBO documentary “John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls” was screened just ahead of its premiere showing on the cable network. The filmmakers, Peter Kunhardt and his sons George and Teddy, were on hand for a question and answer session following the screening. Kunhardt Films is in Pleasantville and Peter Kunhardt is a resident of Chappaqua.
The Kunhardts told the audience that the interview subjects were eager to talk about McCain. They said Barack Obama spent about 45 minutes with them; Bill Clinton spent two hours. They noted that McCain was less concerned about his cancer diagnosis than sending a message encouraging his colleagues to restore regular order to the workings of the US. Senate.