Come and watch Huckleberry FinnPublished 12:06am Monday, July 9, 2012
The Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration will present a movie based upon Mark Twain’s novel “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Natchez Visitor Reception Center. Admission is free.Congressman
Filmed in and around Natchez in 1993, the movie stars Elijah Wood as Huck Finn, along with co-stars Courtney B. Vance, Jason Robards, Robbie Coltrane, Anne Heche, Laura Bundy and Renee O’Conner.
This film about the pre-Civil War South kicks off a seven-part sequence of monthly screenings titled “Hollywood Comes to Natchez: A Civil War Film Series.” The series features movies filmed in the Natchez area that relate to the Civil War.
The films lead up to the 24th annual Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration, set for Feb. 21-24 with the theme, “Fiction, Fact, and Film: The Civil War’s Imprint on Southern Culture.”
Co-sponsoring the film series along with the Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration are the Natchez Convention and Visitors Bureau, Copiah-Lincoln Community College, and the Natchez National Historical Park. Up to 2.1 Continuing Educational Units are available for teachers by calling Beth Richard, Copiah-Lincoln Community College, 601-446-1103 or e-mailing her at Beth.Richard@colin.edu. The cost for the CEU program is $10 for the entire film series.
In Twain’s classic tale, Huckleberry Finn runs away from home with his friend Jim, an enslaved African American youth. Riding a raft down the Mississippi River, the two fugitives embark on a series of adventures as they try to evade capture. Huck is worried about being sent back to his cruel father “Pap,” while Jim fears punishment and a return to slavery.
Miss-Lou residents will recognize a number of locations in the movie, including Natchez Under-the-Hill and Historic Jefferson College, as well as a host of local people who had speaking roles and appeared as extras in the film.
James Wiggins, instructor of history at Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Natchez branch, will introduce the films in the series and provide historical context for the stories being told. Following the conclusion of the movie, audience members will have an opportunity to discuss how this version of Huckleberry Finn compares with other film adaptations of the story.
Does the film remain faithful to Twain’s 1884 book? How does the movie portray southern white attitudes toward slavery? And how does Huck’s own attitude toward slavery change over the course of the story? Wiggins will lead the post-film discussion to explore these and other questions.
Please join us on Saturday as we launch “Hollywood Comes to Natchez: A Civil War Film Series.”
Information about the film series and the 2013 Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration is available at www.colin.edu/nlcc/film-series, by calling 601-446-1289, or by e-mailing NLCC@colin.edu.
Jim Barnett is the director of the division of historic properties of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.