Fires of protest fanned by Catonsville 9

Documentary: `Investigation of a Flame,' about the antiwar group, opens the Maryland Film Festival.


April 20, 2001|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC

"Investigation of a Flame," director Lynne Sachs' documentary on the Catonsville 9 and their epoch-shaping 1968 antiwar protests, will be the opening night feature of this year's Maryland Film Festival.

Sachs' film, which will be getting its world premiere at the May 3 festival opening, includes interviews with seven of the eight surviving members of the group, who made headlines May 17, 1968, when they walked into the Catonsville draft office and burned hundreds of draft records. The event helped galvanize the nation's growing antiwar movement and brought the Berrigan brothers, Philip and Daniel, into the national spotlight.

Sachs will be present for the screening, along with several members of the Catonsville 9, prosecutor Steve Sachs, members of the jury that sat during the trial and other key figures in the story.

The screening is set for 7 p.m. at the Senator Theatre, 5904 York Road. To buy tickets, priced at $50 (which includes admission to an opening-night party at the Evergreen House), call 410-752-8083. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Baltimore's Viva House.

`Trash' maker

Steve Yeager, the local filmmaker whose work has encompassed everything from Baltimore's infamous Block (his 1991 feature film, "On the Block") to John Waters (his documentary, "Divine Trash," which took top honors at Sundance) to an adaptation of Jack Kelber's harrowing tale of drug addiction, "The Connection," will be at Goucher College Thursday to discuss his work.

Yeager, on the faculty of Towson University, will answer questions after a screening of "Divine Trash" at 7:30 p.m. in Van Meter Hall, Room 10. There is no admission charge. Call 410-337-6230.

Celebrating Belvedere

Baltimore's glorious Senator Theatre is playing host this weekend to the fifth annual "Belvedere Springfest," that North Baltimore community's celebration of itself and its accomplishments.

The festivities begin at noon with a free-form drum circle planned for outside the theater lobby. Interested percussionists - and there's no way we can have too many, says Senator owner Tom Kiefaber - should take their drums and plan on pounding away.

At 1 p.m., "Baraka," director Ron Fricke's magnificent visual collage, a celebration of evolution and the natural world, will be shown, with no admission charge.

Kiarostami films

Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, whose "A Taste of Cherry" was the grand-prize winner at the 1997 Cannes film festival, will be in Washington this weekend to discuss his work.

Two films will be shown tonight: "Close Up Kiarostami," a documentary on the issues he faces as a filmmaker in contemporary Iran, and "Takaki," a documentary by his son, Bahman. Following the films, both Kiarostamis will discuss their work.

The free program, set to begin at 6:30 p.m., will be at the Kenney Auditorium of the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, 1740 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.

Tomorrow, a "Meet the Director" discussion is set for 2 p.m. at Freer Gallery of Art, Independence Avenue at 12th Street S.W.

Sunday at 5 p.m., Kiarostami's 1999 film, "The Wind Will Carry Us," will be screened for free at the National Gallery of Art East Building Auditorium, 4th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W.

Free tickets for tomorrow's events may be ordered in advance through Ticketron at 202-432-7328. For more information, check out the Web site at

All aboard the Enterprise

Seven episodes of the original "Star Trek" TV series will be screened over the next month at the Enoch Pratt Free Library's central branch, 400 Cathedral St.

The free series begins Sunday with "The Menagerie," which was intended to be used as a pilot for the series but was scrapped, only to surface later as a two-parter. The episode stars Jeffrey Hunter as Capt. Christopher Pike, predecessor to Capt. James Kirk (William Shatner) as commander of the Enterprise.

The series will continue April 29 and May 6 and 13, with two episodes each day, and conclude May 20 with a screening of "Trekkies," a documentary in which dozens of "Star Trek" fanatics are given the chance to explain themselves.

The programs begin at 2 p.m.

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