More than five dozen arts and cultural institutions are collaborating on a Sept. 21 nationwide watch party and live virtual conversation for the documentary “John Lewis: Good Trouble.”

The recently released film chronicles the life of the late Democratic lawmaker and civil rights icon.

The film, renting at $12, may be streamed through Sept. 30. San Diego’s Digital Gym Cinema offers the stream, and a portion of the proceeds go back to the North Park independent theater.

Those interested in being part of the 4 p.m. Sept. 21 watch party can visit The Music Center Offstage to sign up for the free film viewing and live virtual conversation.

“John Lewis is a larger than life figure whose resolve and many sacrifices gave rise to a righteous movement,” said Rachel S. Moore, The Music Center’s president and CEO. “His resonating voice forever rings loud as a reminder for each of us to get into `good trouble, necessary trouble’ to make sure America becomes a more perfect union.”

Lewis died of pancreatic cancer on July 17 in Atlanta at the age of 80.

He who served in Congress for more than three decades, was an organizer, along with Martin Luther King Jr., of the March on Washington in 1963. The a seminal moment in the civil rights movement led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act two years later.

The son of Alabama sharecroppers, Lewis was an original Freedom Rider who challenged segregation, discrimination and injustice in the Deep South.

Lewis also had history in San Diego, where he spoke to students and made appearances at San Diego Comic-Con. In the engagements, he reflected on his experiences as an activist and also discussed “March,” the graphic novel he co-wrote that depicted his life in the civil rights movement.

Directed by Dawn Porter, “John Lewis: Good Trouble” chronicles and celebrates his 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, healthcare reform and immigration.

Featuring rare archival footage and exclusive interviews, the documentary explores Lewis’ childhood experiences, his inspiring family and his fateful 1957 meeting with King.

In addition to her interviews with Lewis and his family, Porter’s film includes interviews with political leaders and congressional colleagues.

The rental includes two extra features: film of an interview Lewis conducted with Oprah Winfrey shortly before his death, as well as a one-hour panel, recorded in July, between Porter and two of Lewis’ fellow original Freedom Riders, Dr. Bernard Lafayette and Dr. Rip Patton.

On Sept. 21 after screening the film, audiences are invited to join the Zoom-based panel discussion about Lewis.

Porter will be joined by panelists Ras J. Baraka, mayor of Newark, New Jersey; Khalil Gibran Muhammad, a professor of history, race and public policy at Harvard Kennedy School and director of the Institutional Antiracism and Accountability Project; and Lonnie G. Bunch III, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

Bunch worked extensively with Lewis to establish the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

– City News Service

Show comments