Film Series

To Kill a Mockingbird: Screening and Conversation

January 28, 2019

Given the theatrical adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird that is now playing on Broadway, FOLCS, in partnership with the Museum of Modern Art, hosted a FOLCS Film Series event on the iconic film adaptation of the original novel.

Directed by Robert Mulligan, To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) tells the story of Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defending a falsely-accused black man charged with raping a white woman, and the racial prejudice that he and his children witness during Jim Crow.

Federal Appeals Judge Denny Chin, Manhattan’s District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr,. Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick, and MSNBC’s show, The Beat’s, Ari Melber, joined us for a post-screening Conversation.

This event was co-produced with the Museum of Modern Art.

Dahlia Lithwick
Author; Journalist; Legal Analyst

Dahlia Lithwick is a senior editor at Slate, and in that capacity, has been writing their “Supreme Court Dispatches” and “Jurisprudence” columns since 1999. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Harper’s, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The New Republic, and Commentary. She is host of Amicus, Slate’s award-winning biweekly podcast about the law and the Supreme Court.

Ms. Lithwick earned her BA in English from Yale University and her JD degree from Stanford University. She is currently working on a new book, Lady Justice, for Penguin Press. She is co-author of Me Versus Everybody (Workman Press, 2006) (with Brandt Goldstein) and of I Will Sing Life (Little, Brown 1992) (with Larry Berger). Her work has been featured in numerous anthologies including Jewish Jocks (2012), What My Mother Gave Me: Thirty-one Women on the Gifts That Mattered Most (2013), About What was Lost (2006); A Good Quarrel (2009); Going Rouge: Sarah Palin, An American Nightmare (2009); and Thirty Ways of Looking at Hillary (2008).

Lithwick was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in October, 2018 and has appeared on CNN, ABC, The Colbert Report, the Daily Show and is a frequent guest on The Rachel Maddow Show. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has called her “spicy.”

Cyrus Vance Jnr.
Manhattan District Attorney

Cyrus Vance, Jr. has been Manhattan District Attorney since 2010. D.A. Vance’s achievements include takedowns of major gun traffickers and international cybercrime operations, the first-ever convictions on New York State terror charges, and the allocation of $35 million to help end the national backlog of untested rape kits. He has reduced unnecessary incarceration and ended the prosecution of thousands of low-level, nonviolent offenses annually, most recently ending the criminal prosecution of marijuana possession and smoking, as well as subway turnstile-jumping. D.A. Vance is the co-founder and co-chair of Prosecutors Against Gun Violence, and co-founder of the Global Cyber Alliance.

Judge Denny Chin
United States Circuit Judge

Denny Chin is a United States Circuit Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He was sworn in on April 26, 2010. Judge Chin graduated from Princeton University magna cum laude and received his law degree from Fordham Law School. After clerking for the Honorable Henry F. Werker, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, he was associated with the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell. He then served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, and thereafter he and two of his colleagues from the U.S. Attorney=s Office started a law firm, Campbell, Patrick & Chin. In 1990, he joined Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C., where he specialized in labor and employment law. From September 13, 1994, through April 23, 2010, Judge Chin served as a United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York. He presided over both civil and criminal cases, including cases involving Megan’s Law, the Million Youth March, Al Franken’s use of the phrase “Fair and Balanced” in the title of a book, the Naked Cowboy, the Google Books project, and the United Nations Oil for Food Program. He also presided over the trial of an Afghan warlord charged with conspiring to import heroin and the guilty plea and sentencing of financier Bernard L. Madoff. Judge Chin was born in Hong Kong. He was the first Asian American appointed a United States District Judge outside the Ninth Circuit.

Ari Melber
Journalist; Writer; Attorney

Ari Melber, an Emmy Award-winning journalist, writer and attorney, is the host of The Beat with Ari Melber airing nightly at 6pm ET on MSNBC.

Melber also serves as MSNBC’s Chief Legal Correspondent and an NBC News Legal Analyst, reporting on law and justice stories across all NBC platforms, and providing legal analysis for programs such as TODAY and The Rachel Maddow Show, among others. Melber received a 2016 Emmy Award for his reporting on the Supreme Court.

Melber also regularly guest hosts for MSNBC anchors such as Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, Chris Hayes and Brian Williams, and he previously hosted MSNBC’s weekend program The Point with Ari Melber.

Before joining MSNBC, Melber spent four years practicing First Amendment law, and served as a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate. He is a former columnist for Politico and Reuters, and his writing has been published in several books and a variety of news outlets, including The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Nation and The New York Daily News, among other publications.

Melber received a J.D. from Cornell Law School, where he was an editor of the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, and he is a member of the New York Bar.