Thursday, April 5, 2007

Perry Harris and his Ford Model A automobiles

Perry E. Harris Jr., a former worker at the Norfolk, Virginia Ford Motor Company assembly plant, which is scheduled for closure in 2007, has a barn full of Model A parts and tools that could fill the wing of a museum. He owns a perfectly restored 1931 Model A and a 1928 Model A in two tones of blue.

Video by Roger M. Richards

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

A Century of Virginian-Pilot Photography

An excerpt from a documentary featuring photographs from the early 20th century to 2006 by Virginian-Pilot staff photographers. This documentary was produced in conjunction with a special exhibition at the Chrysler Museum of Art in 2006, curated by Brooks Johnson.

Seven Lillies: A Story of Sarajevo

SEVEN LILLIES introduces Adnan Rustempasic, a gentle man who was forced to pick up a gun when the Serbs began raining artillery shells down on Sarajevo. Adnan spent much of the siege helping defend a bitterly-disputed piece of territory, the Vrbanja (ver-ban-ya) bridge in the center of Sarajevo. The bridge, spanning the Miljacka (mil-yat-ska) river that runs through the city, separated the Serbs and the Bosnians and was a strategically important part of the city. The two sides faced each other and traded sniper and mortar fire from gutted buildings on both banks of the river. The area in front was a no-man's-land and designated free-fire zone. Anything that moved was shot. Scores of fighters on both sides died here, and the Serbs realized that their attempts to capture the bridge had ended in a bloody stalemate. It became a war of attrition, where both Serb and Bosnian soldiers fought to stay alive.

Seven Lillies--A documentary film by Roger M. Richards

SEVEN LILLIES also takes us to the infamous Lion cemetery, where Serb snipers and artillery gunners targeted citizens gathered to bury their dead. A woman cleans the grave of the famous Bosnian film director Hajrudin Šiba Krvavac.

One summer day in 1993, about 1½ years after the beginning of the siege, Adnan Rustempasic was home from the frontline at his apartment. A neighbor's child knocked on his door and asked if Adnan's young son, Sanjin (san-yin), could come out to play in the courtyard of the apartment building. He said yes, as the day had been relatively quiet as far as the Serb shelling of the city was concerned. Four-year-old Sanjin and a group of playmates were having a good time, making good use of their opportunity to play outside as parents tried as much as possible to keep their children indoors for safety from snipers and shells.

This was the day when Adnan's life changed forever.

Produced and Directed by Roger M. Richards.

A Navy Family

Days after September 11, 2001, Marie Forkin departed for the war in Afghanistan as a crew member of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. Left behind with her husband Joey were their three young children, a girl and two boys, one of them a 5-month-old baby.

A Navy Family-- a video essay by Roger M. Richards

My Favorite Child

This video documentary by Roger M. Richards is the story of Dwight Core Jr. and his family.

It is based on the home movie, "Think of Me First as a Person," which portrays the love a boy with Down syndrome shares with his four sisters, but also a heartache common to the era's disabled: leaving home for an institution. In December 2006, decades after filmmaker Dwight Core Sr. shot the first frame, the film won a special honor: one of only a handful of amateur movies accepted into the Library of Congress.

The little boy, Dwight Core, Jr., is now a tall, 47-year-old man who enjoys coloring and watching television in the living room of the Ocean View section of Norfolk, Virginia home he shares with one of his sisters, Cindy Klingler.

Part One

The film might all still be sitting in a dusty box somewhere if not for Dwight Sr.'s grandson, George Ingmire. Two years ago, he started rummaging through a tangle of film spools he inherited after his grandfather's death in 1995.

The 38-year-old filmmaker knew Dwight Sr. had shot some murder mysteries in the ' 50s and was hoping to find them for an annual home movie festival in New Orleans, where he now lives.

Instead, an unexpected audio tape caught his attention. On it, his grandfather's voice is telling a story. Trying to explain. Describing his son, Dwight Core Jr., Ingmire's uncle.

"D is small for his age but very strong," the narrator says. "His hair is sandy blond and cut short. His bright, almond-shaped blue eyes and tiny ears do not miss a thing."

Ingmire pulled film strips from the box, held them up to a lamp and soon found footage of a boy with a buzz haircut that seemed to go with his grandfather's audio tape. Then images of four other children: the sisters to the boy, one of them Ingmire's mother.

He began piecing the film and his grandfather's words together.

In the documentary 'My Favorite Child', Roger M. Richards brings the story of the Core family into the present.

Part Two