Woodstock Film Festival exhibit, screening put focus on Civil Rights-era photographer – Daily Freeman

KINGSTON, N.Y. —  A photo exhibit featuring the work of Ernest C. Withers, a chronicler of the African American experience in the segregated South, will take place in September ahead of a screening of a documentary about his work at the Woodstock Film Festival, organizers have announced.

Withers, who died in 2007, is also the subject of the documentary film “The Picture Taker” which will have its world premiere at the festival, which takes place from Sept. 28 to Oct. 2.

The opening of the photo exhibit, in collaboration with the Center of Photography at Woodstock, takes place on Saturday, Sep. 3 at 5 p.m. at the Rezny Gallery, 76 Prince St. in Kingston.

The film’s director, Phil Bertelsen, will be in attendance to discuss Withers’ work and complex life at the Sept. 3 exhibit opening. The exhibit runs from through Oct. 23.

For more than sixty years,  Withers recorded the everyday lives of the Black citizens of Memphis, Tennessee. He was on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement, covering key flashpoints from the Emmett Till trial through the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. But he was also, secretly, an FBI informant. The film “keenly explores this disturbing contradiction that straddles the borderline between art and the emotion-laden politics of race,” an announcement about the event said.

For more information, visit https://woodstockfilmfestival.org/.


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