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Eyes on the Prize: “Bridge to Freedom: 1965”


Location: Redstone Theater

With writer-director-producers Orlando Bagwell, Callie Crossley and Sam Pollard, series producer Jon Else, and writer/director/senior producer Judith Vecchione in person. Moderated by Yance Ford and Marshall Curry

Dir. Callie Crossley and James A. DeVinney. 1987. 57 mins. Narrated by Julian Bond. Created and Executive Produced by the late Henry Hampton, Eyes on the Prize is the definitive documentary record of the civil rights era in America. Over two series and fourteen episodes, Hampton and a purposefully diverse team of producers, writers and directors traced the country’s long and brutal march toward equality and the fight to end decades of discrimination and segregation. In “Bridge to Freedom: 1965”–the sixth and final episode of the first season of Eyes on the Prize, and a nominee for the 1987 Academy Award for Best Documentary–a decade of lessons learned within the Civil Rights movement is applied in a climactic and bloody march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. A major victory is won when the federal Voting Rights Bill passes, but civil rights leaders know they have new challenges ahead.

The screening will be followed by a discussion among five of the series’ creators, on the occasion of Eyes on the Prize being given the Cinema Eye Honors Legacy Award at the upcoming Cinema Eye Honors, the awards program that celebrates excellence in artistry and craft in nonfiction filmmaking. The Legacy Award is given in recognition of a classic work of nonfiction filmmaking that continues to inspire new generations of filmmakers and remains as relevant today as it was when it was first broadcast in 1987. “It’s hard to overstate the importance of this series. It captured a crucial chapter of American history and shared it with millions of viewers, opening eyes and challenging hearts. And for a generation of documentary filmmakers, its craft, style, journalistic thoroughness, and emotional power became the gold standard that we all still strive to reach.” Marshall Curry, filmmaker and Cinema Eye board co-chair.

Tickets: $15 ($11 seniors and students / $7 youth (ages 3–17) / free for children under 3 and Museum members at the Film Lover and Kids Premium levels and above). Order tickets online. (Members may contact [email protected] with questions regarding online reservations.)

Ticket purchase includes same-day admission to the Museum (see gallery hours). View the Museum’s ticketing policy here. For more information on membership and to join online, visit our membership page.