Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced today the annual selection of 25 of America’s most influential motion pictures to be inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. These films range from the innovative silent film “Suspense,” which was co-directed by a woman in 1913, and Sidney Poitier’s Oscar-winning performance in 1963’s “Lilies of the Field” to the 1978 mega-hit musical “Grease,” 1980’s musical comedy “The Blues Brothers,” and one of the biggest public vote getters, Christopher Nolan’s 2008 Batman film “The Dark Knight.” [...]
This year’s selections include a record number of films directed by women and filmmakers of color, including 10 directed by women and seven by people of color.
“The National Film Registry is an important record of American history, culture and creativity, captured through one of the great American artforms, our cinematic experience,” Hayden said. “With the inclusion of diverse filmmakers, we are not trying to set records but rather to set the record straight by spotlighting the astonishing contributions women and people of color have made to American cinema, despite facing often-overwhelming hurdles.” [...]
Freedom Riders (2010)
During 1961, more than 400 people from across the nation, black and white, women and men, old and young, challenged state-sanctioned segregation on buses and in bus terminals in the Deep South, segregation that continued after the Supreme Court had ruled the practice to be in violation of interstate commerce laws. Some 50 years later, “Freedom Riders,” a two-hour PBS American Experience documentary made by Stanley Nelson, charted their course in considerable depth as they faced savage retaliatory attacks and forced a reluctant federal government to back their cause.
The riveting story is told without narration using archival film and stills and, most engagingly, through testimonies of the Freedom Riders themselves, journalists who followed their trail, federal, state, and local officials, white southerners, and chroniclers of the movement including Raymond Arsenault, whose book inspired the documentary.
The film takes viewers through many complex twists and turns of the journey with extraordinary clarity and emotional force. The courage and conviction of the Freedom Riders, ordinary Americans willing to risk bodily harm and death to combat injustice nonviolently, will inspire later generations who watch Nelson’s eloquent film. Nearly 50 full interviews conducted for the film are now available in the American Archive of Public Broadcasting at https://americanarchive.org/special_collections/freedom-riders-interviews."
Library of Congress