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Baby Boomer Film Series

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Baby Boomer Film Festival

Films like The Graduate will be screened at the Baby Boomer Film Festival this fall.

On Wednesday evenings this fall, join American University School of Communication professor Lenny Steinhorn and his class for screenings and discussions of seminal films of the 60’s and why and how they broke stereotypes and revealed truths never before seen on screen.

Over six weeks from September through November, the public will be invited to join Steinhorn and AU community guests in the Weschler Theater in the Mary Graydon Center on AU’s Campus for a FREE movie and post-screening discussion from 7 – 9:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Screening Schedule


Where The Boys Are- Sept. 15

With Connie Francis singing the title song, most people think of this film as a paean to Spring Break and its beaches, bikinis, and motel parties. It is all those things, but it is also one of the first movies to explore the changing sexual attitudes of youth as well as issues related to sexual assault.

The Graduate- Sept. 22

Breaking away from convention and conformity was a major theme of Sixties youth, and no character symbolizes it better than a very young Dustin Hoffman, who rejects the career path (“plastics”) mapped by his parents and runs away to find his freedom. The question, of course, is what he was running toward.

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner- Sept. 29

This groundbreaking film about interracial marriage was so controversial that the producer initially tried to hide the storyline from his studio. It premiered only months after the Supreme Court struck down state laws against intermarriage – until then, 17 states prohibited it. Sidney Poitier plays an accomplished, idealistic doctor whose future in-laws reject him for only one reason: race.

Alice's Restaurant - Oct 6

Arlo Guthrie stars in this time capsule of the late ‘60s that shows how the counter-culture struggled with the all-consuming Vietnam War. There are some great period scenes in this film, particularly at the Army’s induction center.

The War at Home - Oct 13

Live through the emergence of 1960s college anti-war sentiment as this outstanding documentary shows how a previously apathetic University of Wisconsin campus became increasingly militant against the Vietnam War. Some say that the Wisconsin experience symbolizes the boomer generation’s homefront experience with the Vietnam War.

Easy Rider - Oct 20

Two men on motorcycles encounter the tensions of the times: intolerance, hippies, communal living, small-mindedness and drugs. It is a “touchstone” for Boomers who embraced the counter-culture and the open road – as well as those who wanted to.

Coming Home- Oct 27

How the Vietnam War reverberated back home is the subject of this very poignant film. Veterans and their families deal with the pain and distortion created by the war. In many ways it shows us how we were all prisoners of that war.

The Big Chill - Nov 3

This movie is seen as the Boomers’ goodbye to the ‘60’s and the idealism of their youth. But it is also a complicated drama about how much of the ‘60s one should hold on to – and that growing up is not the same as selling out.

Alice Doesn't Live Here Any More - Nov 10

What made this film unique at the time is that it depicted love and relationships through a woman’s perspective. This is a film inspired by the growing feminist movement. And it portrays just how hard it is for a woman to pursue her dreams.

Network - Nov 17

Boomers were the first mass-media generation and this self-mocking tale shows the outlandish and at times ridiculous extremes of our media culture. It also added a new phrase to Boomer lingo: “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.”