Catonsville Nine documentary covers era of anti-war activism

A new documentary is on the shelves, and those who helped create it hope its message will stay in public consciousness.

Released Sept. 23 on DVD, the award-winning film "Hit & Stay" documents an era of civil disobedience during the Vietnam War.

Highlights of the documentary include the actions of the Catonsville Nine, a group of Catholics who broke into a draft board in Catonsville, Md., pulled stacks of draft records outside onto the pavement and awaited arrest after setting fire to the records. 

 

Directors Joe Tropea and Skizz Cyzyk were assisted by Catonsville Nine member George Mische, who recreated the events of the May 17, 1968, Catonsville protest and raised money for the film's production. Although Mische normally declines requests to participate in documentations of the Catonsville Nine, he found Tropea's vision to be encompassing.

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"Joe was the first guy who was trying to make a movie or write a book that didn't have preconceived notions before he did the work," Mische told NCR. "There's been enough done about Catonsville -- in fact, too much. The real untold story was all of the other hundreds of people who came out of the walls who were equally as credentialed as any of us between 1968 and 1972."

In addition to the Catonsville Nine, "Hit & Stay" covers the actions of the Baltimore Four, Milwaukee 14, D.C. Nine, Chicago 15 and many more.

Mische said he hopes the film will inspire activists in the future.

"It's not just for people who were a part of that period. It's for people who are just learning about it," Mische said.

According to a press release from independent film distribution company BRINKvision, "Hit & Stay" will be screening at the following places through October and November:

  • Oct. 20: Friends Committee on National Legislation, Washington, D.C.
  • Oct. 24: Bellarmine University, Louisville, Ky.
  • Oct. 29: University of Detroit-Mercy, Detroit
  • Nov. 6: Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse, Baltimore
  • Nov. 7: Park Slope Food Co-op, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Nov. 11: Loyola University, Chicago 
  • Nov. 18: Rutgers University-Camden, Camden, N.J.

[Nicholas Sciarappa is an NCR Bertelsen intern. His email address is nsciarappa@ncronline.org.]


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