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Film Screening: Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes
Thursday, November 30th at 7pm
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center {120 College Street}
Pre-film conversation with director Ben Shapiro beginning at 7pm | Free and open to all

Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes
Documentary | 2023 | USA | 82 MIN

Experience the groundbreaking sounds of bebop pioneer, virtuoso percussionist and bandleader Max Roach. Roach’s far-reaching ambitions were inspired and challenged by the inequities of the society around him. His political consciousness, expressed in his groundbreaking Freedom Suite and other works, made him a fierce advocate for change at a time when the nation was steeped in racism. His stunningly diverse seven-decade career marked him as one of the great musical artists of the 20th century and a pioneering cultural activist. The film follows Roach across a rich and complicated life, years of now-legendary achievement, deep personal struggle, and the price he paid for his outspoken views. His was an epic musical journey — from the revolutionary Jazz of the 1940s to the Civil Rights years, through experiments in hip hop, multi-media works, and beyond.

About the directors:

Ben Shapiro is a documentary director, cinematographer, and independent public radio producer. Shapiro directed the documentary Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters, which follows the photographer over a decade as he creates his images. His work as a cinematographer and producer includes projects for PBS (American Masters, PBS Arts, EGG), National Geographic, The Sundance Channel, and independent filmmakers including Katy Chevigny, Barbara Kopple, and the feature “Paul Goodman Changed my Life,” among others. Shapiro’s mother, Gerry Shapiro, was a student at Black Mountain College in the 1940s. Shapiro will join us for a pre-film conversation at BMCM+AC on November 30th at 7pm.

Sam Pollard is a film director, editor, producer, and screenwriter. In 1998, Pollard received an Academy Award nomination for 4 Little Girls with Spike Lee. In 2010, Pollard (with Geeta Gandbhir and Arielle Amsalem) received an Emmy Award (Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming) for the film By the People: The Election of Barack Obama. In 2020, the International Documentary Association gave Pollard its first Career Achievement Award. Spike Lee, whose films Pollard has edited and produced, described him as being “a master filmmaker.” Henry Louis Gates Jr. characterizes his work in this way: “When I think about his documentaries, they add up to a corpus — a way of telling African-American history in its various dimensions.”

Max Roach at BMCM+AC:

On February 22 + 23, 2019, at Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, Fresh Cut Orchestra and Melanie Charles performed a timely restaging of We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite, a landmark recording from the civil rights era.

Previous Film Screenings at BMCM+AC