The Triplex Cinema and Berkshire International Film Festival have teamed up with the nonprofit Clinton Church Restoration to offer a weekend of documentary films on Oct. 3-4. Inspired by the Movement for Black Lives, the event will feature free live screenings of four documentaries that address African American resistance to racial injustice over a span of 150 years: W.E.B. Du Bois: A Biography in Four Voices, I Am Not Your Negro, John Lewis: Good Trouble, and Whose Streets? An outdoor program of speakers will kick off the event on Oct. 3 at 12 noon. The speakers will be Dr. Whitney Battle-Baptiste, Sabrina Allard, and Brooke Bridges.

“Now is the time for action, we need to do something, not just talk about it,” said Triplex owner Richard Stanley, who decided to take local action after being inspired by the Movement for Black Lives. The Triplex will be opening its doors for the weekend as part of Governor Baker’s Phase III reopening plan. In accordance with state guidelines, all screenings will take place in reduced capacity theaters that allow for physical distancing.

Stanley selected Clinton Church Restoration, which is developing plans for an African American Cultural Heritage Center at the historic Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church just two blocks from the Triplex, as the beneficiary of funds raised through event sponsorships and donations. Once restored, the former church will offer exhibits and programming that celebrate local African American history and interpret the life and legacy of civil rights pioneer W.E.B. Du Bois, who was born and raised in Great Barrington. Stanley has been a supporter of the project, mentioned in a recent Architectural Digest article titled, When Architecture and Racial Justice Intersect, since its inception in 2016.

“African American history is American history,” said Clinton Church Restoration Chairman Wray Gunn, Sr., “but one of our country’s great injustices is not telling the full story. We want to change that by preserving Great Barrington’s first Black church as a place where people can learn about and celebrate the rich history of our community and be inspired by the life of NAACP cofounder W.E.B. Du Bois.”

The films will be shown on Oct. 3 and 4, with two showings for each film. Dates and times are available on the theater’s website and reservations are required. There will be a streaming option for a small fee for those unable to attend in person, which will be available for two weeks starting Oct. 3. A portion of the streaming cost will go to the Clinton Church Restoration project. For schedule and tickets click here.

Sponsors include The Triplex Cinemas, Berkshire International Film Festival, Housatonic Heritage, Berkshire Property Agents, the Upper Housatonic Valley African American Heritage Trail and Housatonic River Walk, a project of Great Barrington Land Conservancy.

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