National Archives (NARA) Digitizes Little Rock Nine Film to Mark its ’65 Oscar Win
The restored version of the film discussed in the article below is embedded at the bottom of this post.
From Arkansas Online:
The National Archives has digitally remastered a film on the Little Rock Nine for the anniversary of its Academy Award win for best short documentary, 50 years ago today.
It is the fifth film the archives’ Motion Picture Preservation Lab has restored to cinema quality. The film will be shown at the National Archives later in the spring and is available online.
The 18-minute, 30-second film, titled Nine from Little Rock, was never intended for American viewers but was shown in hundreds of cities around the globe, according to the archives. Commissioned by George Stevens Jr., head of the United States Information Agency, and directed by Charles Guggenheim, the film follows the lives of several of the nine black students years after they integrated Central High School in Little Rock.
The film is narrated by one of the Nine, Jefferson Thomas, who died in 2010. It shows him walking around Central High School, talking about the school being integrated in 1957.
The National Archives’ Motion Picture Preservation Lab holds more than 700,000 reels of film made by the executive branch, federal agencies and the military, with more coming in by the day. While it digitizes about 600 reels a year, the lab has so far digitally restored only five, Supervisory Motion Picture Preservation Specialist Criss Kovac said.
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