LINCOLN PARK — Facets is launching a new "Teach-In" film series with a couple of confrontational offerings in March and April.
Author-activist and former Weatherman Bill Ayers screens the 1984 movie version of George Orwell's dystopian novel "1984" followed by a discussion at 1 p.m. March 12 at Facets, 1517 W. Fullerton Ave.
The following month, University of Chicago film professor Judy Hoffman holds a screening and discussion on Leni Reifenstahl's Nazi propaganda documentary "Triumph of the Will" at 1 p.m. April 2 at Facets.
According to Facets Executive Director Mary Visconti, the "Teach-Ins" simply build on the film center's legacy.
"The Teach-Ins continue the core principles of Facets' programming for 41 years," Visconti said Wednesday in a statement announcing the new series. "Facets uses film to expand audience horizons, connect people of diverse cultures and promote discussion and learning."
The story of "1984" concerns an authoritarian regime that controls the population through propaganda.
Ayers, meanwhile, is no stranger to controversy as a former leader of Students for a Democratic Society in the '60s and its more violent spin-off faction the Weathermen. After emerging from having gone underground in the '70s, he became an education expert that led him to eventually become the distinguished professor of education and senior university scholar retired at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His most recent book is "Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto."
Ayers' contact with President Barack Obama in his formative days as a community organizer on the South Side served as a lightning rod for criticism in the 2008 election.
Hoffman then will take on "Triumph of the Will," Reifenstahl's documentary on the 1934 Nazi rally in Nuremberg, Germany. The Facets blurb for the event cites how senior Donald Trump adviser Stephen Bannon has expressed admiration for Reifenstahl's technique.