Psychodrama On Film: William Greaves’ IN THE COMPANY OF MEN

IN THE COMPANY OF MEN by William Greaves (1969, 52 min)

Description from IndieCollect:

In the Company of Men illustrates Bill Greaves’ decision to use film as an activist would — as a consciousness-raising tool. To depict and affect prejudice between white factory foremen and Black workers (termed by management as the “hard-core unemployed”), he brought a psychodramatist into an auto plant so that both sides could improvise common interactions. The film documents the impact of this remarkable technique. The actor he chose to lead the exercises, Walter Klavun, had been trained by the founder of psychodrama, J.L. Moreno. Bill Greaves remained interested in the power of psychodrama to change entrenched attitudes throughout his career.

We will be showing an original 16mm print from the collection of the University of Pittsburgh, with the permission of distributor Criterion Collection / Janus Films.

After the screening, a panel featuring Billy Jackson and Vickie Bey will lead discussion centered around William Greaves, psychodrama, and their relationship to Pittsburgh history. Jackson, founder of Pittsburgh-based Nommo Productions, worked with Greaves on numerous films, both as sound and cameraperson. Bey trained under Dr. Vernell Lillie at Kuntu Repertory Theatre (affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh), where psychodrama was often employed in classes, workshops, and other acting exercises.

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