A scene from Karen Thorsen's documentary "James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket"
Sedat Pakay/South Side Projections/TNS A scene from Karen Thorsen's documentary "James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket"

For those of you in New York City (especially the uninitiated), a screening opportunity you should definitely take full advantage of scheduled for next month. Full details follow below...

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Wednesday, April 6th, 6:30pm

The Schomburg and the Maysles Cinema Present "James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket" at The Langston Hughes Auditorium, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Blvd (Between 135th and 136th Street).

Back in 1989, the 16mm version of "Baldwin" received stellar reviews and awards. Honored at festivals in over two-dozen countries - including Sundance, London, Berlin and Tokyo - the film was described as "Splendid" by Variety, "A video page-turner" by The San Francisco Chronicle, and "A haunting, beautifully made biography" by the Los Angeles Times. "Stays with you after the program ends," said the New York Times. Now considered a documentary film classic, the original "Baldwin" film has been restored and re-mastered in 2K HD with the help of the Ford Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts in honor of James Baldwin's 90th birthday. An emotional portrait, a social critique, and a passionate plea for human equality, this film is a vérité feast. Without using narration, the film allows Baldwin to tell his own story: exploring what it means to be born black, impoverished, gay and gifted - in a world that has yet to understand that "all men are brothers."Intercutting rarely-seen archival footage from over one hundred sources and nine different countries, the film melds intimate interviews and eloquent public speeches with astounding private glimpses of Baldwin.

The film also includes a rich selection of original footage: scenes from Baldwin's extraordinary funeral service; explorations of Baldwin's homes on three continents, including France, Switzerland, Turkey and Harlem; plus on-camera interviews with close friends, colleagues and critics. Witnesses include his brother David; biographer David Leeming; writers Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka, William Styron, Ishmael Reed and Yashar Kemal; painter Lucien Happersberger and entertainer Bobby Short.

"Baldwin" has not been shown in Harlem since 1989 (at the Schomburg then as well) and this is the first time the remastered version is being shown publicly in Harlem anywhere.

Q&A with director Karen Thorson, James Baldwin's nephew and Harlem's own Trevor Baldwin to follow the screening. More speakers TBA.

A Nobody Knows / DKDmedia / Maysles Films / American Masters Presentation of A Karen Thorsen Film, Produced by William Miles & Karen Thorson, Co-Produced by Douglas K. Dempsey, Executive Producers Albert Maysles & Susan Lacy.

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Trailer below: