Actor Richard Beymer took a Bolex camera to Misissippi in the Freedom Summer of 1964. He documented the African American community alongside his fellow activists and volunteers working to register black voters and provide educational instruction to children. The film has been preserved by the Washington University Film & Media Archive with a grant from the NFPF. The New York Times profiled the film on the occasion of its 50th anniversary here.
Beymer’s film is an astonishing document of a turbulent moment in American history. He captures the joy of community life while at the same time providing a clear-eyed view of the struggle for equality. Nadia Ghasedi, who leads the Visual Media Research Lab at Washington University, writes that the film is a “rare and historically significant primary source depictions of segregated Mississippi against the backdrop of violent opposition.” The richness of the black and white images provide a powerful argument for a new day in America, one in which all citizens are treated with equal dignity and respect.
The NFPF is excited to present A Regular Bouquet in its online screening room and share the original 44-minute version with new audiences. A shorter Director’s Cut can be viewed here. We hope you enjoy this unique piece of American history and share it with others.