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Me and my kind: James Meredith's War


Some events and some people are like prisms. When you look at them closely, new patterns are formed. That is very true for James Meredith in Oxford, Mississippi, in 1962. He entered the history books for integrating the all-white University of Mississippi, better known as "Ole Miss". But his story is so much more than that. Despite his importance, few Americans know anything about him. He was a complicated man that made complicated and sometimes strange choices in life. He was a warrior against segregation, yet he co-worked with Klan members. Through his story, we can see the fight of the Civil Rights movement, we can see white reaction to the demands of change. We see the outspoken racism and segregation, and silence where words should have been spoken. And the images force a necessary question to the surface; where are we today?

"Me and My Kind: James Meredith's War" has been supported by the Mississippi Humanities Council. We have gathered a team of nine highly rated scholars to consult on the film and working to locate the funding to complete the film. You can see a short clip of interview selects -- and read more about this story here.

The Elephant in the Room

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What do Nazis in Stockholm have to do with rebel flags, President Obama and Republicans? Kent Moorhead lives in Stockholm and comes from Mississippi. The Elephant in the Room looks at his southern past, at racism and symbols such as the rebel flag. The film began in 1990 and Moorhead has been working on it ever since, filming himself, filming his three sons as they grew up in a South both like and unlike the 60s Civil Rights South in which he grew up. The story is filtered with the lens of the long fight over race and symbol and power. Rebel flag It's a classic example of discovering the story by filming it. With hindsight, not an approach he recommends. But it makes for a rich multilayered story and has also become quite timely, thanks to the neo-Confederate flavor of the modern Republican Party. In the end, its not just a Southern story, its an American story too. And those Nazis marching in the streets of Stockholm are part of it as well . . . nazis

Rather Die Free Than Live A Slave

Mae Bertha Carter

Families all over the United States, are looking information about ancestors who fought as soldiers in the Civil War. They want for their family, what families of white soldiers have: a history and a way to honor their forebears. That is where our story starts; the lack of knowledge about and respect for the United States Colored Troops and their achievement. And a lack of knowledge about the importance of African American women in this struggle.

We all live with history. Our personal family history, the history of groups we are part of, the history of the nation we belong to. We tend to polish that history, emphasize the nobility among our ancestor and diminish the criminal. Talk more about the wars our country won, than the wars lost. Mae Bertha Carter But sometimes there is more than that. A political will to rewrite the truth and to write off parts that don't fit with the myths. Myths that are there for a reason. That is very true for the Civil War. If slavery is taken out of the equation, the story of brave white soldiers on both sides, meeting in honest battles, will work. For that myth to work, there can't have been all those slaves fleeing, to join the Union army. There couldn't have been all those soldiers in the Colored Troops, fighting bravely for freedom. This is especially true for the southern myth of the Lost Cause. So, the soldiers of the US Colored Troops were written out of history, along with the men and women and families that freed themselves by escaping from slavery. That falsification of the war, means there didn't have to be any owing up for the atrocities and no songs for the heroes. Families don't know their history, and we as Americans have a poorer history.

FilmCentrum - Tempo workshops

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Kent Moorhead taught at FilmCentrum Stockholm from 2009 through 2013. Courses included "Filming with the Canon 5D/7D DSLR", "Billigt ljus, dryt resultat" (Cheap lighting, expensive looks), and the Tempo Documentary Crash Course, an intensive week-long workshop (70 hours) which ran during the Tempo documentary film festival, the largest documentary festival in Sweden. FilmCentrum Stockholm closed in 2014.