Friday, October 22, 2021
In 1995, writer Earl Shorris launched the first Clemente Course in the Humanities, offering low-income adults the same access to the humanities as Ivy League freshmen. He claimed, “People who know the humanities become good citizens, become active, not acted upon.” White, suburban filmmaker James Rutenbeck went to Dorchester, one of Boston’s most diverse neighborhoods, to document students’ engagement with the Clemente Course in the Humanities. What begins as an academic inquiry becomes a collaborative, interpersonal experience when James realizes he can’t keep himself out of the narrative. His relationship to the story is influenced by two students, Kafi Dixon—a bus driver and urban farmer—and Carl Chandler—a neighborhood elder who combines a talent for storytelling with a profound intellectual curiosity. As James spends time with Kafi and Carl, he’s awakened to the violence, racism, and gentrification that threaten their place in the city. Their documentary film project, A Reckoning in Boston, bears witness to the struggles and injustices playing out across our city, and will compel viewers to grapple with their own complicity in these systems. Join us for a free screening of A Reckoning in Boston, followed by a live Q&A with filmmakers James Rutenbeck and Kafi Dixon, moderated by Rep. Liz Miranda. This screening and discussion are sponsored by Mass Humanities.