Scene and Unseen: Facing Race Through Film
Scene and Unseen: Facing Race Through Film

Scene & Unseen: Facing Race Through Film

Trinity Church Wall Street convened a full capacity audience in St. Paul’s Chapel on a Friday evening and all day Saturday in February 2019 to explore and discuss race in the United States through the lens of film in an event called Scene & Unseen: Facing Race through Film. This project was followed by Keep It Reel: Teens Facing Race through Film in June 2019. Eight video segments from that program are listed below and are now available for on-demand viewing. Trinity provides these videos for free use in your community as discussion starters, weekend retreats, or to structure a church formation series.
 


 
 

This video includes a summary of the highlights of Scene & Unseen.

 

 
 

In the 30th anniversary year of director Spike Lee’s movie “Do the Right Thing,” Trinity presented a panel discussion of the continuing relevance of the film. Panelists include the Very Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, dean of Episcopal Divinity School at Union Seminary, Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry of Wake Forest University, Dr. Greg Garrett of Baylor University, and Professor Michael Gillespie of City College New York. (The film being discussed is available for streaming via commercial services.)

 

 
 

In a keynote address titled “The Right Thing: Ethics Lessons from the Movies,” journalist and professor, Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry, offered insights on the potential, and limitation, of film as a method of encouraging greater racial equity.

 

 
 

A racially and generationally diverse panel of theologians discussed the intersecting roles of film, race, and theology. Panelists include the Very Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, dean of Episcopal Divinity School at Union Seminary, Dr. Greg Garrett of Baylor University, and Stanley Talbert of Union Seminary.

 

 
 

In a panel called “Race, Imagination, and Sacred Utterances,” Trinity Church Wall Street presented two preachers, one a black woman and the other a white man, discussing how their identities affect the way they preach about race, and how film references can sometimes be helpful. Panelists include the Rev. Dr. Lisa Thompson of Union Seminary and Dr. Greg Garrett of Baylor University.

 

 
 

Dr. Catherine Meeks of the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Reconciliation borrowed a quote from Jesus in the Gospel according to John to candidly discuss the current state of race in the United States and to propose a bold way forward.

 

 
 

In a panel called “Not an Option,” the Very Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, dean of Episcopal Divinity School at Union Seminary and Dr. Greg Garrett of Baylor University offered reminders that confronting white supremacy and racial inequity is essential to living the Gospel.

 

 
 

With a focus on the 2018 film “Blindspotting,” Trinity presented a panel discussion on a variety of topics including police violence on people of color, gentrification, and the value and limitations of cross-racial friendships. Panelists include actor/director Daveed Diggs, the Very Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, dean of Episcopal Divinity School at Union Seminary, Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry of Wake Forest University, Dr. Greg Garrett of Baylor University, and Professor Michael Gillespie of City College New York. Please note that this segment includes strong language. (The film being discussed is available for streaming via commercial services.)

A list of discussion questions is available here as an additional resource.