Protesters Agree To Reschedule Griffith Movie
Three representatives of the Organization for the Solidarity of Third World Students tentatively agreed yesterday to support a re-scheduling of the film "Birth of a Nation," providing the showing is accompanied by a thorough discussion of the film's racial content.
The agreement came during a meeting yesterday afternoon between the organization's representatives, Robert J. Kiely, master of Adams House, Rev. Hugh J. Berryman, senior tutor of Adams House and the two leaders of the Adams film society. Kiely requested the meeting.
"We agreed to go back to the organization with the proposition to show it in a more educational context, so that the film could be viewed discriminately," Felipe M. Noguera '76, one of the three representatives, said last night.
Fifty of the organization's supporters stopped the showing of the film in Adams House dining hall Saturday night, saying they objected to its treatment of blacks and glorification of the Ku Klux Klan.
"I would encourage people to see the film if they were witness to the panel discussion that accompanied it, because the film could be used as a tool to fight racism," Noguera said.
He said the organization will probably meet this weekend to review the tentative agreement and propose a format for the discussion of the film.
Would Like to Show Film
Robert B. Knauss '75, co-chairman of the Adams film society, said he did not know when the society would show the film. "We'd like to show it soon if we can work it out," he said. The society was supposed to return its print of the film yesterday, Knauss said, but it will try to get an extension from the rental company.
Knauss said he will try to arrange for joint-sponsorship of the film with the Harvard-Radcliffe Association of African and Afro-American students.
"We're counting on not having any trouble," Knauss said. "I think by working with these other groups we'll be all right."
Kiely said yesterday that a member of the Afro-American Studies Department and a film expert from the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies will probably participate in the discussion accompanying the showing.
He said the film society might have to show the film in the Science Center or some other building because of prior claims on the Adams dining hall.
Kiely said the film will not be cancelled again, even if another protest develops. But he said he will not order any special security precautions for the next showing. "I'm not anticipating any problem," he said.
Several black members of Adams House approached Kiely at lunch yesterday to complain about the cancellation of the film Saturday night.
Kiely said that many of the blacks felt strongly that the cancellation was "an insult to them as well as other members of the house," and that they did not want to be connected with "censorship."
Kiely, who was not in Cambridge Saturday night, said yesterday that he supports Berryman's decision to stop the showing.
"Birth of a Nation," directed by pioneer silent-film maker D.W. Griffith, was released in 1915. It is generally considered a landmark film--it was the first to use moving cameras and night filming. It presents a militantly anti-black view of the South during Reconstruction