American Journeys: Border Lines in American Life is the theme of a four-part film discussion series to be held at the Niobrara County Library. The series explores journeys from the margins and the mainstream of American Life through the lens of popular Hollywood film. Each of the movies and discussions will look at American journeys with equality and justice and the challenges of living in the margins of society and tradition. The film showings begin with a free meal and also include audience discussion lead by Deane Tucker, Professor of Humanities at Chadron State College.
The first film, Easy Rider will be shown at 6 p.m. on Monday, January 26. This 1969 film stars Dennis Hopper along with Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson and is also directed by Dennis Hopper. Young bikers, Billy and Wyatt stash money from their southern California dope sales in their gas-tank and take off on a cross country odyssey. Along the way they encounter bigotry and hatred by people who are afraid of their non-conformity. They also meet others exploring alternative lifestyles. Arrested and thrown in jail they meet a liberal alcoholic lawyer, who gets them out and joins them for the trip to Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
On Monday, February 23 In America will be shown at 6 p.m. An aspiring Irish actor with a dream of breaking into the New York City theatrical scene immigrates illegally to the United States with his family. This American journey on the margins examines their efforts to fit in, make a home in a flop house, and find unexpected friends. The film stars Paddy Considine and Samantha Morton and is directed by Jim Sheridan.
Saved, starring Jena Malone, Mandy Moore, Macaulay Culkin and Eva Amurri will be shown at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 30. This film, directed by Brian Dannelly depicts the journey to adulthood. The journey becomes especially difficult for Mary, a good Christian girl who is one of the “in-crowd” at her Christian high school. Mary’s perfect life unravels after an attempt to cure her gay boyfriend Dean results in pregnancy. Dean is sent to a “degayification” center. Mary’s beliefs are challenged by the attacks led by her best Christian friend Hilary Faye and the support of new friends recognized as the school “misfits.”
The final film in the series, The Visitor will be shown on Monday, April 27. A moving story about a recently widowed college professor who discovers a pair of illegal aliens living in his New York City apartment. Victims of a real-estate scam, the young couple are eventually invited to remain and unlikely friendships develop. The realities of immigration injustice in a post 9/11 world are brought to light and the definition of an American is reexamined. This film stars Richard Jenkins, Haaz Sleiman, Danai Jekesai Gurira and Hiam Abbass and is directed by Thomas McCarthy.
This series is Funded by the We the People Initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities and is sponsored in part by the Wyoming Humanities Council at 307-721-9243. The series will also be held in Cheyenne, Jackson and Sheridan. For more information contact the library at 334-3490.