The Grand Cinema begins a week of documentary films Friday (May 1) that cover subjects ranging from ballet to college campus sexual assaults.
At least one film will play daily during the week. Some of the screenings will be followed by discussions led by local experts and community leaders.
Check the theater’s website for a complete schedule. Here are capsules of the films to be shown:
“1971”: In 1971, a group of citizens uncovered the FBI’s illegal domestic spying programs. The Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI, as they called themselves, broke into an FBI office in Pennsylvania, took files and shared them with the U.S. public. These actions exposed COINTELPRO, the FBI’s illegal surveillance program that involved the intimidation of law-abiding Americans. The group’s actions helped lead to the country’s first congressional investigation of U.S. intelligence agencies. Never caught, 43 years later, these Americans reveal themselves and share their story in this documentary.
“Ballet 422”: From first rehearsal to world premiere, “Ballet 422” takes the viewer backstage at the New York City Ballet as emerging choreographer Justin Peck creates a new work.
“An Honest Liar”: This documentary looks at the life and career of the renowned stage magician turned scientific skeptic of the paranormal, James Randi. An Honest Liar” discussion: 1:45 p.m. Sunday with David Straayer, mathematics professor at Tacoma Community College and adviser of the TCC Secular Student’s Alliance.
“The Hunting Ground”: This expose concerns rape crimes on U.S. college campuses, their institutional coverups and the toll they take on students and their families. “The Hunting Ground” discussion: 1:45 p.m. Saturday with Jennifer Warwick, Pacific Lutheran University’s Women’s Center; Stephanie Sacks, Rebuilding Hope! The Sexual Assault Center for Pierce County; Will Jenkins Sr., advocate of social and community change; Alissa R. Ackerman, assistant professor of criminal justice, UW Tacoma; and Jonathan Grove, former Men Against Violence Program coordinator at PLU.
“Merchants of Doubt”: This documentary looks at pundits-for-hire who present themselves as scientific authorities as they speak about topics such as toxic chemicals, pharmaceuticals and climate change.
“Seymour: An Introduction”: Meet Seymour Bernstein: pianist, teacher and inspiration who shares insights from an interesting life. Actor Ethan Hawke helms this guide to life. “Seymour: An Introduction” discussion: 4 p.m. Saturday with Benjamin P. Smith, Suzuki piano teacher, music coach and composer
“The Wrecking Crew”: A celebration of the musical work of a group of session musicians known as “The Wrecking Crew,” a band that provided back-up instrumentals to such legendary recording artists as Frank Sinatra, the Beach Boys and Bing Crosby. “The Wrecking Crew” discussion 6:15 p.m. Sunday (in-theater Skype) with Denny Tedesco, director of the film and son of guitarist Tommy Tedesco.