Free Owsley Sunday Film
Directed by Eleanor Bingham Miller and Leslie Shatz
Co-Director Eleanor Bingham Miller: in person
This premiere of the digital restoration of the compelling rare cinéma vérité documentary on David Duke and the Klu Klux Klan takes us into rare Klan ceremonies as well Duke’s involvement as a pro-Nazi supremacist and his early campaigns that fought to legitimize racism. This film tracks the Klan’s movement efforts to normalize racism through community organizing, while targeting issues like busing, interracial marriage, and the efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement, while fueling hate and racial fear around economic issues.
Miller spent three years in research and production on this documentary produced for Los Angeles Public Television. She bravely traveled across the country to investigate the Klan’s activities and gained unprecedented access as well as frank and startling insight into white supremacy while filming with a skeleton crew. This bold film was included in the Un Certain Regard section of the 1978 Cannes Film Festival and has rarely been showcased since it broadcast and festival run.
There are many parallels between what is captured in this documentary and the growing license to express racism engendered in the current political climate. This restoration allows us to look to the past to inform our future. 1977, U.S., new digital restoration, 60 minutes.
Co-Director Eleanor Bingham-Miller, a Kentucky native who has been involved in nonfiction TV and film production since 1972, will take part in a post-screening discussion of the films fascinating genesis.
Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art.