In anticipation of Steve McQueen's award winning feature 12 YEARS A SLAVE, which opens October 18, Reelblack will host a rare public screening of Gordon Park's final feature film, HALF SLAVE, HALF FREE: SOLOMON NORTHUP'S ODYSSEY on Friday October 11 at the United Bank Building, 3750 Lancaster Avenue. Screening will start at 7pm. Admission is $5.00.
Solomon Northup's Odyssey, reissued as Half Slave, Half Free, is a 1984 American television film based on the autobiography Twelve Years a Slave (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_Years_a_Slave) by Solomon Northup (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solomon_Northup), a free black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. The film, which aired on PBS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PBS), was directed by Gordon Parks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Parks) with Avery Brooks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avery_Brooks) starring as the titular character. It was the second film to be funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Endowment_for_the_Humanities), following Denmark Vesey's Rebellion in 1982. Parks returned to direct the film after years of absence. He chose to work in the Deep South (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_South) and to collaborate with a crew of mixed races. The film first aired on PBS on December 10, 1984 and as part of PBS's American Playhouse (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Playhouse) anthology television series in the following year. It was released on video under the title Half Slave, Half Free.