Film screening collaboration with BAM: Torture of Mothers: Case of Harlem 6 + Frame Up!


Saturday, November 5, 2022

7:00 PM to 9:30 PM

This event is offsite, at Brooklyn Academy of Music. Tickets are required.

Organized as part of the film series Watch the Cops! in conjunction with the Defend / Defund exhibition.

Torture of Mothers: Case of Harlem 6

Dir. Woodie King, Jr., 1980, 52min
With Ruby Dee, Clarice Taylor, Starletta DuPois.

In 1963, a group of Black and Puerto Rican children upset a fruit stand in Harlem and were promptly beaten by the police, as were three Black teens who tried to intervene. When a white shopkeeper was stabbed and killed in the area a few days later, these teens and three other young Black men were arrested for murder with scant—or no—evidence of their involvement. This powerful docufiction hybrid features dramatized re-enactments of testimony and trial statements, offering a piercing expose of a landmark case of police corruption that made headlines at the time—and continues to resonate today.

“These things happen, in all our Harlems, every single day,” wrote James Baldwin in A Report from Occupied Territory, his 1966 essay on the Harlem Six. “If we ignore this fact, and our common responsibility to change this fact, we are sealing our doom.”

Frame Up!

Dirs. Steven Fischler, Joel Sucher, & Howard Blatt, 30min, 1974

“Everything we need to know about how the police state is put to work to quash rebellion and weed out Black revolutionaries through death or imprisonment or both can be summed up in the story of Martin Sostre.”—Pooja Rangan & Brett Story, series programmers

A self described “politicized prisoner,” Harlem-born Martin Sostre taught himself constitutional law from a prison library and became an activist for the rights of incarcerated people. After his release from jail, he owned a radical leftist bookstore in Buffalo, NY—until he was framed for drug possession charges and sent back to prison in 1967. Frame Up! shines a light on politically motivated abuses within the American justice system as well as Sostre’s remarkable and enduring campaign for human rights.

In partnership with Brooklyn Academy of Music