The inspiring story of Congresswoman Shirley Anita Chisholm will be the latest featured in Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center’s Present Tense series. On Sunday, February 3, presented in collaboration with the Eastville Community Historical Society, SHCAC will screen Shola Lynch’s Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor. The special viewing will include a post film discussion with producer and director Samuel Pollard, who edited the documentary.
“Shirely Chisholm is one of the great American stories,” Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan, head of SHCAC’s Programming Committee, expressed. “Shunned by the political and the media establishments, her campaign for the presidential nomination took on head first issues of power, racism and gender discrimination we are still struggling with today.”
Chisholm, a former school teacher and Brooklyn native, made history in 1968 by becoming the first black woman elected to Congress. She represented New York for seven terms, until the 80’s. In 1972, she made history yet again by becoming the first black candidate for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States. It was also the first time a woman attempted to win a presidential nomination for the Democratic Party.
“Hers is very much a story of our own time,” D’Agnolo Vallan noted. “And we are very happy to celebrate Black History Month with this screening of Shola Lynch’s great documentary, in collaboration with The Eastvile Community Historical Society.”
The documentary takes a look at the groundbreaking campaign and includes a visit to the Caribbean, where Chisholm’s parents were born. It also delves into several still timely topics – such as racism, gender inequality and immigration.
Chisolm 72′: Unbought & Unbossed screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004, and was nominated for two Film Independent Spirit Awards the following year. It earned a Peabody Award two years later.
“When Shirley Chisholm is at her oratorical best, she mimics the men who weren’t ready for her,” notes Ned Martel’s New York Times review of the film. “In 1968, Brooklyn voters sent the 40-something former nursery-school teacher to Capitol Hill, and Mrs. Chisholm encountered one drawling fellow lawmaker who expressed his surprise that an African-American woman had earned the same status and salary as he. By her account, she adjusted his view of the future: “I paved the way for a lot of other people like me to make `42-fiiiive!'”
In addition to the documentary, the life of Congresswoman Chisholm will be revisited in The Fighting Shirley Chisholm, an Amazon Studios feature film that will star and be produced by actress Viola Davis.
Following Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed, Present Tense will feature Joe Dante’s The Second Civil War, Alan Arkin’s Little Murders and Gregory La Cava’s Gabriel Over the White House.
Present Tense tickets are $15 online and are available at the door.
Bay Street Theater is located at 1 Bay Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, visit www.sagharborcinema.org.