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City of a Million Dreams Film Screening & Discussion
July 10, 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm$5
Dr Michael White Original Liberty Jazz Band / City of a Million Dreams New Mexico Residency
One of several events taking place for the Dr Michael White Original Liberty Jazz Band / City of a Million Dreams New Mexico Residency, today’s event is a film screening and discussion of the engaging documentary, City of a Million Dreams, which explores the history and culture of New Orleans through the performance lens of African American funeral traditions and second-line parades. Culminating a 25-year effort by award-winning director, writer, and producer Jason Berry, the film, whose title draws from Berry’s 2018 book of the same name, offers a unique view of New Orleans through a compelling and haunting examination of the influence that Black performative culture has on the way community members navigate the immediacy of life and death daily. The documentary is an embodiment of the depths in which New Orleans’s history and culture informs the individual and collective understanding in the city of place, spirit and time.
As described on the City of a Million Dreams website, “The film follows the French town’s evolution with a stunning recreation of African burial choreographies by enslaved people, honoring ancestral memory on a field called Congo Square. The resistance drama of danced memory carries across time, gathering force as black men march as Mardi Gras Indians in one the film’s most powerful funeral sequences. As African dances merge with the funeral processions of European marching bands, the fusion of the ring and the line gives shape to jazz music, and an archetype of the city’s diverse society.” The post-screening discussion will bring Jason Berry together with renowned clarinetist Dr. Michael White, who will be performing with his Original Liberty Jazz Band on Saturday, July 9, and who contributed recorded and original music to the film score.