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Detroit Historical Museum Kicks Off Summer Film Series

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A look inside Ford’s Rouge complex. (photo courtesy: Detroit Historical Society)

A look inside Ford’s Rouge complex. (photo courtesy: Detroit Historical Society)

DETROIT (WWJ) - Summer is here and the Detroit Historical Society is bringing back the most popular films from its monthly film series.

The Detroit Historical Society’s Film Series screens documentaries that cover a range of Detroit history subjects. Films are screened at 1 p.m. on select Saturdays and Sundays starting July 13, and are free to the public.

The Summer Film Series will feature three of the most popular recent films and one new to the series, including:

• “The Rouge”

Directed by John Owens and produced by Kingberry Productions, the film features early archival footage, rare photographs and interviews that help tell the intriguing story of one of the most famous industrial workplaces ever.

From its first years as a model of integration for its time, to Ford Motor Company’s using cruel force to crush organized labor, the Rouge plant indelibly shaped the history of Detroit and the world.

“The Rouge” screens on three weekends, July 13-14, August 10-11, and August 31-September 1. Run time is 46 minutes.

• “Borderline”

A 1997 Emmy Winner, explores the story of 8 Mile Road. No other road in Michigan evokes a response like the one you get when you mention 8 Mile. From topless dancers and the neighborhood groups that battle them, to storefront preachers and the homeless people they minister, 8 Mile remains our area’s most notorious boundary.

This event will include a visit from the film’s producer, Gary Glaser, who will provide an introduction and answer questions following each screening.

Screenings are scheduled for July 27-28, August 17-18, and September 14-15. The film runs 30 minutes.

• “The Story of Willow Run”

Exploring the Willow Run B-24 Bomber Plant and the history of Henry Ford’s involvement with aircraft production needs for the coming World War, “The Story of Willow Run” is the story of how the sprawling Willow Run plant was rolling out one B-24 every 55 minutes, 24 hours a day.

This film is an original, 1945 black and white documentary, produced by Ford Motor Company.

Scheduled screenings are on the weekends of August 3-4, August 24-25, and September 21-22. Run time is 35 minutes.

• “War of 1812 in the Old Northwest”

Produced by WGTE-TV Toledo’s Darren LaShelle, “War of 1812 in the Old Northwest” brings to life some of the most famous names and places of the war, each closely linked to our region: Tecumseh, William Henry Harrison, Oliver Hazard Perry, Fort Meigs, River Raisin and the Battle of Lake Erie.

In addition to contemporary HD footage of the locations that played a prominent role in the War, the film is richly illustrated with archival photos, paintings and newly created maps. Douglas Brinkley, David Skaggs and Randall Buchman are among the noted historians and authors featured in the program, along with Eric Hemenway, who works in the Cultural Preservation Department for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in Northern Michigan.

The film will be shown one weekend only on September 28 and 29. The film runs 55 minutes.

The Detroit Historical Museum, located at 5401 Woodward Ave. (NW corner of Kirby) in Midtown Detroit, is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free for all, all the time. Parking in the Museum’s lot is $5.

For more information, call the museum at 313-833-1805 or visit www.detroithistorical.org.

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