Cinema of Law: Screenings at the Berkshire Athenaeum

Criminal Justice Review in Film, 2013

There’s a lot more to law than just Law and Order!  The legal system is not all arrests and gavels – it’s a complicated system to navigate, and its intricacies can be fascinating.  The Berkshire Bar Association (BBA)and the Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum, along with the Berkshire Law Library, are offering a film series filled with popular films following a law theme.  The four-part series is a mix of both documentary and fiction, both new and old!

Best for older high school and college students interested in criminal justice, the film series brings to light the reality of working in the legal system, whether as a lawyer, judge, or officer.  Students can learn about a branch of government not often examined in-depth, and will be able to enjoy some great cinema at the same time!  The films also help to promote the importance of understanding and engaging with government.

All films are free, and will take place at the Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield.  Each film comes a legal subject and will be introduced by a member of the BBA. Screenings will be on Tuesday evenings at 6pm, beginning on March 5th and include:

  • The Last Campaign – Screened on Tuesday, March 5th: “The Last Campaign is a documentary feature film about the 2004 campaign for re-election of Justice Warren McGraw for the West Virginia Supreme Court, dubbed the “nastiest” judicial race in 2004, if not the most expensive.” (2005)
  • Caine Mutiny  – Screened on Tuesday, March 11th: “When a US Naval captain shows signs of mental instability that jeopardizes the ship, the first officer relieves him of command and faces court martial for mutiny.” (1954)
  • The Overlooked Suspect – Screened on Tuesday, March 19th: “This documentary film highlights a detailed and on-going 15 year investigation by one of America’s leading private investigators – into the 1994 Nicole Brown Simpson/Ron Goldman murders that prompts the question, “What If O.J. Simpson Didn’t Do It ?” Will be introduced by Albert Harper, Esq., President of the Forensic Science Consortium in Pittsfield. (2012)
  • Amistad  – Tuesday, March 26th:  “About a 1839 mutiny aboard a slave ship that is traveling towards the northeastern coast of America. Much of the story involves a court-room drama about the free man who led the revolt.” (1997. Rated R)

The Berkshire Athenaeum is located at 1 Wendell Avenue in Pittsfield, and can be reached at 413-499-9480.

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