Freedom Bound: Faces and Voices

Civil Rights in Mississippi in 1963

Freedom Bound: Voices and Faces from Paul Richards on Vimeo.

This one minute video consists of clips from Harvey Richards’ film Freedom Bound. Freedom Bound is the film that Harvey made after his trip to Mississippi in 1963 during the time before he was able to get in contact with SNCC to coordinate the distribution and use of the film. (The story of the making of the the Mississippi films is told here.) Once he made contact with SNCC he re-edited the film and added scenes of Charles McDew, SNCC’s chairman, and renamed it “We’ll Never Turn Back.” The same people who appear in this clip also appear in We’ll Never Turn Back, plus the support appeals from McDew.

Hollis Watkins, Amzie Moore, E.W. Steptoe, 1963. Photo by Harvey Richards

Hollis Watkins, Amzie Moore, E.W. Steptoe, 1963. Photo by Harvey Richards

I made this short video to use it on the new Estuary Press DVDs on the screen that comes up on the TV when you first place it into the DVD player.  The menu choices appear over the faces and voices in this clip as you make up your mind which scene you want to watch. While DVDs of Harvey’s films have been available for some time now, the new DVDs with menus are only now being created to allow people to navigate through the film as you do in most DVDs today.  Soon all of the 22 films in the Archive will be available in the new menu format. The next step for Estuary Press will be to upload the DVDs for video on demand to allow for instant viewing of the entire film on your computer or TV. That is coming soon.

In the process of revising and upgrading the DVD collection, I discovered that Freedom Bound has significantly better image quality than the same shots in We’ll Never Turn Back.  I am not sure why.  It could have been the materials used in the original transfers years ago, including the lack of use that Freedom Bound experienced once We’ll Never Turn Back was made. Now, 60 years after the films were released, this improved image quality counts for something, especially for film makers who want to include footage in their films.

As time goes on, other film menu clips such as this one will be posted here on the Media Archive blog.  These short clips give viewers a chance to see what is in the films.  They become statements in themselves, giving a glimpse of the people and the times that gave rise to movements that changed America forever.

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