Scene from Al Helm - Martin Luther King in Palestine

Al Helm: Martin Luther King in Palestine (2015)

Monday, October 5, 2015, 6:45 – 9:15 p.m.

Director: Connie Field ~ Film run time: 1:33 ~ Style: documentary ~ Year released: 2012 ~ Language: Mostly English; some Arabic with subtitles

Venue: The Little 5240 East Avenue, Rochester NY 14604 ~ Tickets: General: $8, students $5

While capturing the growing non-violent movement of young people in Palestine, this film brings a fresh perspective for understanding the realities of Palestinian life under occupation.

Come travel with an African-American gospel choir and with MLK Scholar Clayborne Carson, the author of a play about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In collaboration with members of the Palestinian National Theatre, Carson and the choir adapt and then perform the play for Palestinian audiences in the West Bank.

Choir members, drawn from devoutly Christian churches, are traveling to the Middle East for the first time and witnessing the realities of life under occupation. Hoping to be a voice for change, the author and the singers are themselves profoundly changed by the experience.“

The glorious strains of gospel music wash over the West Bank in Connie Field’s potent film. As the Palestinian National Theater and an African-American choir mount a touring play about Martin Luther King Jr., written by Stanford Professor and King Scholar Clayborne Carson, an impassioned cultural exchange ensues, new friendships are forged and attitudes are altered. A rousing portrait of the changes unfolding in the Middle East as a nonviolent movement grows in Palestine, this dynamic and complex work is born of a brilliantly simple and potent idea: what would happen if African-American Christians — the same group who served as exemplars of the Civil Rights Movement — could witness first-hand the plight of Palestinians today? One of the ten most popular films at this year’s festival.”   

— Vancouver International Film Festival


Ricardo Adams, Member of B.L.A.C.K.

Ricardo Adams is a married black father of three children. Recipient of a lifetime of oppression. A community activist who spent time in Ferguson on three occasions. He made a couple of trips to Cleveland in connection with the Tamir Rice shooting, also in 2014. Works at Center for Youth overnights and volunteers at his kids school during the day. A former participant of the school to prison pipeline. Was also involved and arrested in the Occupy Movement locally. Member of B.L.A.C.K., the local chapter of the Black Lives Matter Movement. Flying Squirrel member and on the board of Prosper Rochester.

Corrine Sutter-Brown, Member or Jewish Voice for Peace

Corinne Sutter-Brown has been involved in the struggle for social justice in a variety of contexts for many decades. She is an independent scholar who has, among other things, been working on the history of Israel/Palestine and Zionism. She holds a Master’s Degree in History from the University of Rochester. She graduated from San Francisco State University and attended New College of California School of Law in San Francisco. Corinne has lived in Rochester for 30 some years.

Both panelists will join us at The Little Theatre.