Ashes to Ashes

26 mins.
Directed by Taylor Rees

7:00 sold out and 9:00 sold out!

Director Taylor Rees and Dr. Shirley Jackson Whitaker join us in person for discussions following both screenings.

Free screenings! Amherst Cinema Members can reserve free tickets online. General admission free tickets are available only for pickup at the Amherst Cinema box office (not online).

America has yet to heal from the trauma of its darkest era, and Winfred Rembert is living proof of that.

Rembert, who lived on a plantation, joined the civil rights movement as a teen, and was put to work on a chain gang, is a rare survivor of a lynching attempt.

Decades later, he still carries the scars. “That lynching is on my back, and it’s dragging me down, even today,” he says.

As he etches the history, bloodsoaked and cruel, into leatherwork, fellow artist Dr. Shirley Jackson Whitaker organizes a different kind of ceremony to search for healing – a funeral service to acknowledge and mourn the thousands of African Americans who were racially terrorized from the Jim Crow era through to this very day.

“It’s not just black history,” Dr. Whitaker says. “This is American history.”