March movies at Rockland library

Feb 28, 2014
The WPA’s Federal Writers Project is the subject of “Soul of a People.”

Rockland — Two documentaries will be presented for March movies in the Friends Community Room of Rockland Public Library, 80 Union St. Films are shown the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, except April.

Economic crises tie together March’s movies at Rockland Public Library. The films are selected and hosted by local film enthusiast Erica Pfander. Admission is free.

“Soul of a People: Writing America’s Story” (2009, USA-TV) will be screened Thursday, March 13, at 6 p.m. In the grip of the Great Depression, unemployed men and women joined an unlikely Works Progress Administration program to document America in guidebooks and interviews. “Soul of a People” tells the story behind the controversial Federal Writers Project, one of four arts programs of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's WPA.

Thousands of writers including Richard Wright, Saul Bellow and John Cheever traveled throughout the country to interview ordinary people for a series of state guidebooks. They documented tragedies as well as triumphs, creating a powerful portrait of 1930s Americana. The Smithsonian Networks film is based on the book by David A. Taylor and narrated by Patricia Clarkson; and features interviews with two of the project's best-known workers, Studs Terkel (in one of his last interviews) and Stetson Kennedy, as well as a diverse group of authors, poets and historians including Douglas Brinkley and David Bradley.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or

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