|Columbia University 1968|
Frank da CruzThese are some screen shots I made from the Newsreel film Columbia Revolts (which is now available from Amazon on this DVD) to accompany my main narrative here, chosen mainly for the interest to me personally... friends, events where I took part, and more than a few pictures of me :-) I was disappointed to find that the sequence I was most interested in seeing again is missing from every digital copy of this film I can find: Teddy Gold and I sharing a big jug of apple juice in the Hamilton Hall lobby shortly before the third bust. That sequence was in the film version, which was screened at Columbia by Eric Foner in 1988 on the 20th anniversary of the uprising and to see it then was moving in light of what happened with Teddy. It also shows the proper way to drink from a gallon jug.
My son Peter remarked to me in 1988 as we watched the film (which kept breaking and having to be rethreaded into the projector, or jamming and melting frames), he found it almost incredible how articulate, knowledgeable, committed, and courageous Columbia students had been 20 years earlier, compared to the clueless slackers of the late 1980s. I can only observe that now, 25 years after that, he hadn't seen anything yet. In 1968 we did all we could to stop the wars and fight the racism and economic injustice. There were Columbia students who dropped out and devoted the rest of their lives to the struggle; you can see some of them below. Meanwhile the wars never stop, racism has intensified, poor and working people are under seige, and at Columbia it is “back to business” (literally) with a vengeance.
The screenshots are in film order, which is not necessarily chronological. The film was viewed using the VLC media player, which is the first one I came across that could play the downloadable versions of this film and allow pausing and moving back and forth. Frames captured by SnagIt.
(Click on any photo to enter)
By the way, the missing segment is one of a series of disappointments with transfer of films to DVD. Another is the film The Seven Ups (1973), a gritty NYC cops and car-chase movie, in which the scene where the car chase goes through the Columbia neighborhood (showing its down-to-earth pre-gentrification ambiance) was cut. Even worse, the 1968 film, Up the Down Staircase, had a scene featuring the kids in my Project Double Discovery unit cut out (otherwise there are some good location shots around 116th Street and Pleasant Avenue at Benjamin Franklin High School). It seems almost every time I go to show my kids some old movie that had an especially significant scene, the scene is missing.