Plattsburgh, NY – 03/17/2016 – JACKIE ROBINSON, a new two-part, four-hour documentary directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon, comes to Mountain Lake PBS April 11 and 12 at 9 pm. The film tells the story of Jack Roosevelt Robinson, who rose from humble origins to break baseball’s color barrier and waged a fierce lifelong battle for first-class citizenship for all African Americans that transcends even his remarkable athletic achievements. Mountain Lake PBS will host an exclusive sneak peek at selections from the documentary at a screening event on Sunday, April 3rd at 7 PM at the St James Theatre (265 St Jacques West) in Montreal.
Before Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers, he played a season with the Montreal Royals in 1946. To accompany the release of the documentary, Mountain Lake PBS will produce local segments exploring Jackie Robinson’s impact on the city of Montreal, and how the city changed him.
“Montreal was almost an oasis for Jackie and his new wife Rachel in 1946. While he was facing immense pressure and hostility elsewhere, when he arrived in Canada, he was embraced. We want to celebrate this special relationship between Jackie Robinson and the people of Montreal,” said Bill McColgan, Director of Production & Content at Mountain Lake PBS.
The locally produced segments will be featured on the weekly magazine program, Mountain Lake Journal, with the first piece premiering at the Jackie Robinson screening event. The stories will also be available digitally through social media and on mountainlake.org.
The screening takes place on the same weekend that Montrealers will be celebrating their baseball heritage with Major League Baseball exhibition games at Olympic Stadium, and the ExposFest event at Plaza Centre-Ville in downtown Montreal. The screening at the St James Theatre will promote community dialogue through a panel discussion with several key organizations and experts knowledgeable about civil rights, baseball, and sports in Canada. The panel will be moderated by trusted Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist and Mountain Lake Journal host, Thom Hallock.
“Jackie Robinson is the most important figure in our nation’s most important game,” said Ken Burns. “He gave us our first lasting progress in civil rights since the Civil War and, ever since I finished my BASEBALL series in 1994, I’ve been eager to make a stand-alone film about the life of this courageous American. There was so much more to say not only about Robinson’s barrier-breaking moment in 1947, but about how his upbringing shaped his intolerance for any form of discrimination and how after his baseball career, he spoke out tirelessly against racial injustice, even after his star had begun to dim.”
Funding for JACKIE ROBINSON is provided by Bank of America; Public Broadcasting Service; Corporation for Public Broadcasting; The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations; Dalio Foundation; Mr. Jack C. Taylor; and members of The Better Angels Society, including Jessica & John Fullerton and John & Catherine Debs.