The Freep Film Festival begins today. The first film of the festival—“12th and Clairmount”, directed by Brian Kaufman—uses home movie footage donated by Metro Detroiters to look back at the Detroit uprising of 1967, its causes and aftermath. It screens tonight at 6:30 at the Fillmore Detroit.
In anticipation of the festival, Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson was joined by Kathy Kieliszewski, Deputy Director of Photo and Video at the Detroit Free Press and Bill McGraw, local history buff and former Free Press reporter, to discuss “12th and Clairmount” and other films that will screen at the festival.
“It’s a really unique film in the way that we have put this movie together because it’s unlike any other documentary,” Kieliszewski says about “Clairmount”.
“It’s people’s real accounts of what happened to them and it’s woven in an emblematic way.”
For McGraw, “12th and Clairmount” is a very poignant film that speaks to where Detroit’s been and where the city is going.
“Our recent past has been very sobering, to put it mildly,” he says. “[Something] that really struck me in the movie is that Detroit of 50 years ago was much different than it is today. There were a lot more people.”
While “12th and Clairmount” is the festival’s main attraction, there are other exciting films to check out, such as “White Boy” about the life of then-teen convicted drug dealer White Boy Rick, “The Ethanol Effect” about how Ethanol fuel is produced, and “On the Sly: In Search of Sly and the Family Stone”.
“We have a number of really cool films that are of high interest,” says Kieliszewski.