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Documentary Chronicles Life of Singing Activist
OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City University will begin its 12th annual Documentary Film Series at 2 p.m. March 28 with Jim Brown’s “Pete Seeger: The Power of Song.” The screening is free to the public and will take place in the Kerr McGee Auditorium in the Meinders School of Business at N.W. 27th Street and McKinley Avenue. The documentary is about the folk singer who advocated for peace. Seeger was accused of being a communist by members of the U.S. government for his views but he continued to spread his message. Some of his most popular songs include "Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” "Turn, Turn, Turn” and "If I Had a Hammer." Harbour Winn, director of OCU’s Center for Interpersonal Studies through Film and Literature, said that Seeger was often misunderstood by his critics, including the U.S. government, for his views on peace, unionism, civil rights and ecology. He was picketed, protested, blacklisted and, in spite of his enormous popularity, banned from American television for more than 17 years. The documentary includes a combination of archival footage and personal films made by Seeger and his wife that chronicle the life of the legendary artist and political activist. Musicians including Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Joan Baez and Peter, Paul & Mary appear in the film. OCU’s documentary series is titled “Regaining Civility.” It features films about people who are dedicated to making positive changes in the world around them. Winn said the documentaries are intended to inspire viewers to rally for good causes. “These stories show how people can rise against the odds and serve a purpose higher than themselves,” Winn said. “They are incredible, heartwarming stories of perseverance of the human spirit. After seeing these films, it is difficult not to be inspired to make a difference.” Winn chose a famous quote by spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi to serve as the theme for the series: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” The second film in the series, Kim Longinotto’s “Sisters in Law,” will be shown April 11. The documentary is about two women in Cameroon who try to end spousal abuse. Ellen Kuras’ “The Betrayal” will close the series April 25. The film tells the story of a Laotian family that escapes to the U.S. during the Vietnam conflict. OCU’s Documentary Film Series is funded by the Thatcher Hoffman Smith Endowment Fund. Visit www.okcu.edu/film-lit/ for more information, or contact Winn at (405) 208-5472 or hwinn@okcu.edu.