The FOLCS Film Series consists of screening influential films that portray cultural issues in illuminating ways. Screenings are followed by discussions with renowned filmmakers, actors, historians, and others associated with the film’s making or subject matter. The series offers film as a lens through which we can better understand the issues our society is facing today.
Before he was the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall was an attorney for the NAACP. Marshall tells the story of one of his earlier cases. The year is 1940. The place in Connecticut. The case is The State of Connecticut v. Joseph Spell (Sterling K. Brown); a black chauffeur is accused by his white employer of sexual assault and attempted murder. Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) is not allowed to speak in the trial, so the defense depends on Samuel Friedman (Josh Gad), a young Jewish attorney who has never tried a criminal case. What emerges is a story of racial injustice and the unlikely friendship that forms to combat it.
FOLCS hosted an enlightening conversation on the film. Guests included director and producer Reginald Hudlin (Django Unchained) and actors Chadwick Boseman (Get On Up, 42, Captain America: Civil War), Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story), Josh Gad (Beauty and the Beast, Frozen), and Kate Hudson (Almost Famous, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days). The discussion focused on America’s longstanding struggle for racial justice. It also examined the bonds of shared persecution that had, in the past, united African-Americans and Jews.