Dayton is the site of a film festival with themes of liberty, courage and achievement, that began on November 11. Veterans Day was selected to kick off the event in order to celebrate the service of military veterans, and pay tribute to their historic role in preserving freedom in America and in the world. The festival will continue through November 14 with showings at The Neon Theater, the Dayton Engineer’s Club and the Dublin Pub. This will be the second year for this film festival in Dayton and it is the only one currently presented in America with the theme of Liberty.
The underlying idea is that man’s great achievements, whether artistic, scientific or intellectual, have come about through the exercise of freedom and opportunity. The intent will be to showcase films that show the positive use of freedom, and also the negative outcomes and conditions related to the suppression of freedom.
Efforts to gain and protect freedom have been a vital part of the American experience. Our earliest settlers, the pilgrims, braved death and made a heroic voyage to escape religious persecution. Their bravery was followed by the American War of Independence to withdraw from an oppressive system and create a new experience in self-government with a classless republic. A few years later a Civil War was fought to eliminate slavery. In the last century America was involved in two World Wars to fend off oppressors with designs on world dominance. America also fought and won a Cold War against a totalitarian system that sought to destroy the freedoms of many in our world. Throughout history there have been continuing threats against freedom that demand vigilance and continuing respect for the blessings and opportunities achieved through liberty.
The keynote film this year will be the documentary film, “Rockin’ the Wall”. This is very significant and a very special opportunity for the Dayton community because the film is essentially a Dayton product. The documentary conveys the message of a chapter in the book “Seven Events that Made America America” by Dr. Larry Schweikart, a professor of history at the University of Dayton. The chapter is entitled “ A Steel Guitar rocks the Iron Curtain”, and it tells the story of how rock music helped to bring down the communist empire and, with it, The Berlin Wall. There is much commentary by people who were part of the musical revolution on both sides of the Wall. The movie contains a number of musical clips. And there are some very emotional and inspiring scenes of people celebrating and overjoyed with their new freedom.
The Veteran’s Day program at the Neon commenced with a matinee showing of “Rescue Dawn” at 2:30PM. This is a compelling and true story of a German born U.S. Navy pilot, Dieter Dengler, who had an obsession to fly. The story is a tribute to the courage and perseverance of POWs in Vietnam. Following the movie there will be a reception at the Dublin Pub to honor ex POWs. The Neon hosted a major Veteran’s Day event at 7:30PM with the “The Best Years of our Lives”. This is a great Academy Award winning film about serviceman returning from WWII. The film is considered the best depiction of life in America and the challenges to veterans in those years.
The program on Friday November 12, will be presented at the Dayton Engineer’s Club. There will be 4PM showing of “Rockin’ the Wall ”, providing for participation by students of local high schools. Dr. Schweikart will introduce the film. Following a reception at the Club, the film “Places in the Heart” will be shown at 7:30PM. This is an inspirational story of the spirit and tenacity of a widow striving to save her farm in the South during the years of the Great Depression.
On Saturday November 13, the Engineer’s Club will also host a 2 PM showing of the movie “Empire of the Sun”, This movie is Steven Spielberg’s inspiring story, loosely based on actual events, of a young boy’s courage, spirit and leadership while imprisoned in a Japanese concentration camp during WWII. The boy’s love of aviation is a key part of the story. On Saturday evening there will be another major event, a showing of the keynote film “Rockin’ the Wall” at 7”30 PM. The film will be preceded by a reception at the Club with an appearance by Dr. Schweikart.
The final Liberty Festival offering will be an afternoon showing of “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. This is an outstanding film, the winner of all major Academy Awards in 1976. It is the story of a feisty misfit who resists the institutional authority and raises the spirits of fellow inmates. There are great performances by the cast. This film will take place at 2:30 PM on Sunday, November 14, at the Neon, followed by a festival concluding reception.
Admission to all Liberty Film Festival events will be free, with voluntary donations accepted. The festival website is www.ohiolibertyfilmfestival.com. Other information is available by calling 429-3793 or 224-7822, and festival schedules are available at the Dublin Pub.
|The Neon Theater||Dayton Engineer’s Club||The Dublin Pub|
|180 E. Fifth St.||110 E. Monument Ave.||300 Wayne Ave.|
|Dayton, OH 45402||Dayton, OH 45402||Dayton, OH 45410|