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Close Encounters


Introduced by Gerald O’Grady
December 3 (Monday) 7 pm

The Olive Trees of Justice

US/France 1962, 35mm, b/w, 80 min.
French with English subtitles

The only feature film by the celebrated American documentary filmmaker James Blue, The Olive Trees of Justice is a potent adaptation of Jean Pelegri’s novel about a man attempting to reconcile his childhood memories of Algiers with the brutal reality of the city as the French colonialists and Algerian nationalists battle for control. Blue had spent two and a half years in Algeria with a small independent French film company making documentaries during the Algerian Revolution. The Olive Trees of Justice was shot on location with nonprofessional actors during the height of the French-Algerian conflict, and it received the Critics Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, despite successful efforts to prevent its release in France. 

Gerald O’Grady, former chair of the Center for Media Study at SUNY at Buffalo, has been mentor to a generation of film and video artists and scholars, and most recently was a Fellow at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research at Harvard. Mr. O’Grady will introduce and discuss this rarely screened work. 

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