Movie Screening and Filmmaker Q&A: City of a Million Dreams, March 2

Movie Screening and Filmmaker Q&A: City of a Million Dreams, March 2

writer and filmmaker Jason Berry

Writer and Filmmaker Jason Berry

Please join us on Wednesday, March 2 for a 7:30 p.m. screening of the documentary film City of a Million Dreams, hosted by writer and filmmaker Jason Berry. This event is sponsored by Fairfield University’s Center for Catholic Studies.

Jason Berry will introduce his movie, City of a Million Dreams, and host a Q&A session after the screening on Wednesday, March 2, at 7:30 p.m. in the BCC Dogwood Room. This in-person event is free and open to the public, and will also be livestreamed for virtual attendance. Register for the livestream at fairfield.edu/cs.

City of a Million Dreams uses the evolution of New Orleans’ unique burial rituals as a lens to tell the city’s history. The documentary illustrates how the city’s rollicking jazz funerals and Sunday second-line parades absorb the pain of death and the legacy of racism — soaring to joyful, transcendent rebirth.

Berry began filming funerals, wakes, and second-line parades in the late 1990s. Second-line parades are a kind of “jazz funeral without a body” — a moveable block party procession of musicians and “main line” participants who parade through neighborhoods, picking up a “second line” of spectator-revelers as they go.

A range of verité sequences, a riveting dramatization of the burial dances of enslaved Africans, and a wealth of archival footage, photographs, and historical images, bring the history of jazz funerals to life in City of a Million Dreams. The documentary draws on Berry’s 2018 book of the same title, which the Wall Street Journal called “an indispensable history.”

A graduate of Georgetown University, Jason Berry achieved national prominence for his landmark 1992 reporting on the clergy abuse crisis in Lead Us Not into Temptation. His 2008 documentary, Vows of Silence, based on the book he coauthored with Gerald Renner, exposed the dark career of Father Marcial Maciel, a notorious predator finally ousted by Pope Benedict. Render unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church received the Investigative Reporters and Editors 2011 Best Book Award.

Berry worked for several years as a consultant to ABC News on its coverage of the church crisis. He reported from Rome for National Catholic Reporter and the GlobalPost news platform, and from Sicily and Cuba for the nonprofit GroundTruth Project. He is also a longtime contributor to The Daily Beast website.

Recipient of the 2010 Moses Berkman Memorial Journalism Award, given by Trinity College in Hartford for career achievement, Berry co-produced Antony Thomas’ “Secrets of the Vatican” for PBS Frontline in 2014. He received National Endowment for the Humanities and Guggenheim fellowships for his New Orleans research, and an Alicia Patterson journalism fellowship for his reporting on Louisiana demagogues.

A native New Orleanian, Berry’s earlier works include Up from the Cradle of Jazz: New Orleans Music Since World War II and a novel, Last of the Red Hot Poppas.

Register for livestream viewing of the City of a Million Dreams movie and Q&A at fairfield.edu/cs, or join us in-person at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2 in Fairfield University’s Barone Campus Center Dogwood Room, located at 1073 North Benson Road, Fairfield, CT 06824. Please visit the University website before arriving on campus, for the latest Covid-19 guidance: fairfield.edu/healthycampus.

Movie Screening and Q&A: City of a Million Dreams

Date: Wednesday, March 2, 2022
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: BCC Dogwood Room

Additional Details:

This hybrid event is free and open to the public. Attend in-person, or register for livestream.

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Last modified: 02-18-22 12:12 PM

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