The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul, in collaboration with the Capri Theater and the Minnesota Historical Society, presents Through the Banks of the Red Cedar, Maya Washington’s documentary about the lives and careers of 23 African American men – including her father, Vikings legend Gene Washington – who integrated college football on Michigan State University’s (MSU) team in 1963 and changed the game of football forever.
The screening starts at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 4 at the Capri Theater, 2027 West Broadway, with a discussion to follow led by Maya Washington. Tickets to First Thursday Films are $5; purchase in advance at mspfilm.org or at the door the night of the show.
Through the Banks of the Red Cedar (a play on the Michigan State University fight song), follows the 50-year legacy of Maya Washington’s father, Vikings wide-receiver Gene Washington. The story unfolds as director Washington traces her father’s journey from the segregated South to MSU where he played with highly decorated teammates Bubba Smith, George Webster and Clinton Jones (who later made history as first round picks in the 1967 draft). As she discovers both the triumphs and defeats of her father’s team she also develops a new appreciation for the game and makes a deeper connection to her father, just in time to witness the MSU Spartan Football team ascend to national prominence 50 years later.
Each First Thursday Films screening at the Capri is followed by a passionate discussion of the movie. This month we welcome the film’s director Maya Washington. She is an award-winning writer/director/producer, actor and poet whose work has garnered fellowships and awards from the Jerome Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, Minnesota Film and Television’s Legacy Fund Grant, and others. She is dedicated to projects that have a sense of purpose in the world, selecting stories that illuminate some aspect of the human experience that is untold, rarely seen, or might benefit from new approaches to issues of diversity and inclusion.
This screening of Through the Banks of the Red Cedar is one of several First Thursdays films this season shown in conjunction with The 1968 Exhibit at the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS), our new series partner. Community Partner, the Northside Funders Group, will also be screening Northside Storyville shorts prior to each film.
First Thursday Films @ the Capri is presented and curated by the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul as part of Black Cinema: Under the Skin, a program of films by Black filmmakers and exploring Black culture and experience. Topical and relevant in these turbulent times, Black Cinema aims to create a space for dialogue and better understanding.