ALBANY, Ga. — When the Albany Civil Rights Institute (ACRI) celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Albany Movement this month, the festivities will include the premiere of two new films about African Americans in Southwest Georgia.
On Saturday, ACRI visitors will view the Southwest Georgia premiere of “All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert.” On Nov. 16, ACRI will feature a special preview premiere of “A Reunion of All My Babies.”
A few hundred Southwest Georgians encountered artist Winfred Rembert for the first time a year ago when he spoke at ACRI for the opening of his exhibit at the Albany Area Arts Council. Rembert was also in town for the filming of producer Vivian Ducat’s “All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert.”
His paintings depict the day-to-day existence of African Americans in the segregated South. His images of toiling in the cotton fields, singing in church, dancing in juke joints or working on a chain gang are powerful.
Rembert says he experienced much of the injustice of being African-American in past decades. Now in his 60s, Rembert has developed a growing following among collectors.
“A Reunion of All My Babies” has its origins in the 1952 film “All My Babies” which tells the story of “Miss Mary” Coley, a midwife in Albany. Written, directed and produced by George C. Stoney for the Georgia Department of Public Health, it was originally conceived as a midwife training film and in 2002 was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry “as a culturally, historically and artistically significant work.”
Fifty-five years later, Stoney, with collaborator David Bagnall, returned to Georgia in search of the stories behind the film. With the help of the Coley family, the filmmakers contacted over 150 “babies” delivered by Mary Francis Hill Coley.
“All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert” will be shown at 8:45 p.m. on Nov. 12. Producer and director Vivian Ducat will introduce the film and answer any questions afterwards.
“A Reunion of All My Babies” will be shown at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 16. Co-producer and co-director David Bagnall will introduce the film and together with producer and director George Stoney will lead a discussion following the film.
Both films will be shown at ACRI, 326 Whitney Ave. There is no admission fee.