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Progressive Film Night Brings Student Advocacy Groups Together

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Oxford Film Festival is probably the best festival in the South to see movies outside the mainstream norm, but it’s not the only chance Oxonians and university students have at seeing a progressive film.

The Progressive Film Series is a five Tuesdays event that screen movies and documentaries the Barnard Observatory. Co-hosted by the Honors College Student Union alongside Students for Green Campus, Ole Miss Real Food Rebels and UM Pride Network, One Mississippi and Mississippi First and the Associated Student Body Inclusion Committee, the film series feature selected works that confront social issues facing civilization: same-sex rights, income inequality and civil rights as well as a stance against genetically modified foods.

Robert McAuliffe, co-president of UM Pride Network and One Mississippi, said, “The documentary film series represents the start of a kind of a ‘popular front’ of progressive student organizations on the UM campus. The ideal is that this film series will lead to more collaboration between progressive groups, so that we can better spread our message and increase our individual ranks.”

The series kicked off last Tuesday, March 31, with the documentary: Inequality for All, directed by Jacob Kornbluth and presented by former Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, Robert B. Reich. The documentary questions whether the widening pay gap hinders United States’ economic productivity.

“This week’s film deals with the legislative battle for gay marriage,” said McAuliffe, “and it is particularly relevant for us here in Mississippi.”

Tonight the series continue with the documentary: The Case Against 8. The documentary tells the behind-the-scenes story of the case against California’s ban on same-sex marriage as the cameras followed two gay couples whose families were at the center of the marriage equality controversy. The documentary also follows the odd pairing of famous attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies who last went against each other in the Bush v. Gore trial over whether George W. Bush won the presidency despite losing the popular vote. With plaintiffs the attorneys combined to argue the first federal marriage equality lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The next films are Freedom Summer, GMO OMG and The Southern Wild. The last movie will be shown at the Powerhouse as part of the Sally McConnell-Barksdale Honors College Fine Arts Showcase. This event is made possible by two organizers Joe Bell and Emilie Street.

Eleanor Anthony, co-editor of Populi Magazine and a member of the Honors College Student Union, said, “When organizers Joe Bell and Emilie Street approached the Honors College Student Union about the project, we immediately signed on board! All the student groups that came together to put on this series spent considerable time selecting films we thought would resonate with students on campus, and we welcome all members of the UM community to join us for the showings! The series by its very nature is meant to challenge individual perspective on economic, social, political and environment issues, so come to learn, come to be entertained, come to be challenged!”

She extended a special thanks to the Sally McConnell-Barksdale Honors College for helping fund the series and to the organizers.

The series are free of charge so all are welcome to attend the series at the Barnard Observatory. The documentary, The Case Against 8, will show at 7 p.m. tonight. For more information on the Progressive Film Series, visit this Facebook page.


Callie Daniels is a staff writer for HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at callie.daniels@hottytoddy.com.

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