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(en) US,History, Movie about SNCC and the Civil Rights Movement

From Art McGee <amcgee@igc.org>
Date Fri, 25 Feb 2000 08:00:53 -0500


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FREEDOM SONG
Danny Glover stars in and executive-produces FREEDOM SONG, a
powerful new Turner Network Television (TNT) original film
written and directed by Phil Alden Robinson (Field of
Dreams), which will premiere on Turner Network Television
(TNT) on Sunday, February 27, at 7 p.m. ET/PT. Vondie Curtis
Hall (Chicago Hope), Vicellous Reon Shannon (The Hurricane),
Loretta Devine (Waiting to Exhale) and Glynn Turman (How
Stella Got Her Groove Back)  also star in the 2-1/2 hour
film, which tells the compelling story of the impact of the
Civil Rights Movement on a small Mississippi town.

Robinson and Stanley Weiser wrote the script. Sean Daniel
(The Mummy), Robinson, Glover and Carolyn McDonald (TNT's
Buffalo Soldiers) serve as executive producers; Amanda
DiGiulio Richmond is the producer. FREEDOM SONG is an
Alphaville/Carrie production.

FREEDOM SONG is set in the small town of Quinlan,
Mississippi, in 1961. The Civil Rights Movement is in full
force, making its way through the cities, towns and rural
communities of the deep South. The story is told through the
eyes of Shannon's character, an African-American teenager
inspired by the arrival of an organizer from the Student
Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). The young man
joins the crusade to desegregate Quinlan, even though his
involvement threatens to destroy his relationship with his
father (Glover).

SNCC trains Owen and a group of his school friends to lead
peaceful protests against segregation. The protests include
sit-ins at public buildings, such as libraries, bus stations
and businesses. They are also taught to help African-
Americans register to vote -- an act that typically is met
with brutal resistance by the forces of segregation. In
chronicling the effect of the movement on the volunteers,
their families, and their community, FREEDOM SONG places
heroism squarely on the shoulders of the local people -- the
unsung volunteers who risked their lives to affect change at
the grassroots level.

Phil Robinson: "We chose to focus on a small town because we
thought if we tried to tell the larger story of the Civil
Rights Movement, we could only scratch the surface of such a
broad canvas. Instead, we decided to pick the smallest
possible corner and try to get deeper into the people's
lives. This one brief period in Quinlan had successes,
failures, beatings, jailings and a murder. It was an
extraordinary microcosm of the Civil Rights Movement."

Robinson crafted the script from hundreds of first-hand
accounts by former members of SNCC. Civil rights veterans
such as Bob Moses, former SNCC chairman Chuck McDew, Dave
Dennis, Bob Zellner and historian Dr. Vincent Harding served
as consultants on FREEDOM SONG. The teenaged children of
McDew and Dennis played extras in one scene, in which they
were given the unique opportunity to walk a day in their
fathers' shoes.

Phil Robinson: "When you talk to people who were on the
front lines of the Civil Rights Movement, it's stunning how
often they point to "the elders" -- the men and women who
never marched, or sat-in, or rode Freedom busses -- as the
great sources of strength and inspiration and wisdom that
fueled the movement. Together with the energy of the young
students, many of whose names have never been recorded by
history, they were true American heroes, and we felt their
story had never adequately been told on film. Their courage
and accomplishment has inspired freedom movements all over
the world -- from South African to Tienanmen Square."

FREEDOM SONG's innovative score is by noted gospel group
Sweet Honey in the Rock (founded by SNCC veteran Dr. Bernice
Johnson Reagon) and Academy Awardr-winning composer James
Horner (Titanic). This marks Horner and Robinson's third
collaboration, following Field of Dreams and Sneakers.
Seminal pop singer/songwriter Carole King wrote and performs
the end title song "Song Of Freedom" with Sweet Honey In The
Rock. Phil Alden Robinson and Sean Daniel are Excutive album
producers. The soundtrack was released by Sony Classical on
February 15.

AIRDATES

Premiere:

Sunday, February 27 at 7 PM (ET/PT)

Encores:

Sunday, February 27 at 9:30 PM (ET/PT)
Sunday, February 27 at 12 Midnight (ET/PT)
Thursday, March 2 at 8:00 PM (ET/PT)
Saturday, March 4 at 10:30 PM (ET/PT)
Sunday, March 5 at 1:00 PM (ET/PT)
Wednesday, March 8 at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)
Saturday, March 11 at 1:00 PM (ET/PT)
http://tnt.turner.com/movies/tntoriginals/freedomsong/

Danny Glover heads ensemble cast of the TNT Original film:

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