A Choice of Weapons Screening
John Maggio’s A Choice of Weapons: Inspired by Gordon Parks screens for free at Brown Hall Auditorium, Washington University on Saturday, November 6th, at 7:30 pm. ‘Inspired’ is the key phrase here as the documentary is more than a simple retelling of the life and art of Parks, a towering figure of 20th-century photography, cinema, and creativity. The film also presents the work of three African American photographers from generations after Parks, and their discussion of his craft and eye for composition presents an understanding of an art form that straightforward biopics can’t achieve.
Maggio’s new cinematic portrait of Gordon Parks is preceded by one from almost fifty years ago: Listen to a Stranger: An Interview with Gordon Parks (Romas Slezas, 1973) a film preserved by the Washington University Libraries in the Henry Hampton Collection. It was made by Hampton’s production company, Blackside Inc., as part of a training series preparing high school students for the new careers of the 1970s. The Washington University Libraries preserved the short film in 2019 with a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation.
Part of the 30th Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF).