Friday, May 22, at 7:00 pm
Location: Upstairs Screening Room, Movies at Midway, map
Admission: $4 for members and $6 for non-members.
Decades before WikiLeaks and Eric Snowden, there was the grassroots group known as The Citizens Commission To Investigate The FBI. For the first time, members of that commission have come forward and 1971 is their story. Told with the aid of artifacts, interviews, and documents from the break-in, the film opens in the heart of the Philadelphia antiwar movement. A group of ordinary citizens are concerned that the FBI is spying on antiwar and civil rights activists and no one is holding the director, J. Edgar Hoover, accountable. So, on March 8, 1971, the night of the famed Ali-Frazier fight, a group of friends break into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania stealing hundreds of secret files which they ultimately share with the public. In doing so, they expose decades of FBI abuses and a vast network of illegal spying on Americans. The commission immediately disbands and retreats into anonymity – until now. Richard Brody of The New Yorker says, “This documentary, by Johanna Hamilton, unpacks a crucial but little-known episode in modern political and journalistic history….The story, including its cat-and-mouse aftermath adds the intricate excitement of a thriller to righteous historical outrage.” [2014, US, Runtime: 79 min, Not Rated]
A post-film discussion will be led by Kevin McGrath. Kevin spent 36 years working as a human resources executive with ITT, Northern Telecom and Comshare and the HR Value Group. After his retirement he was able to pursue his love of history and has taught several classes at OSHER and the University of Delaware (Dover) including classes on the Vietnam War and the 1960s. He has a bachelor’s degree in history from Mt. Carmel College, Niagara Falls, Ont.