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Questioning Cinema Film Series

Top of movie poster for Hidden Figures



James Branch Cabell Library, Third Floor Lecture Hall (Room 303)
901 Park Avenue, Richmond, Va. 23284


Students, faculty, staff and the greater community are invited to screenings of landmark films in recent cinema history that tackle challenging themes in the humanities, arts and sciences. The films will be followed by a short discussion on the overall themes and subject matter of each film. Popcorn and beverages will be provided at each screening.

The events are free and open to all, but please register. Parking is available for a fee in the West Broad StreetWest Main Street and West Cary Street parking decks. For special accommodations, or to register offline, please contact the VCU Libraries Events Office at 804-828-0593 at least two days prior to the event.

Schedule and Registration

Sept. 21, 2017
5-7:30 p.m. screening
7:30-8 p.m. discussion

In 2001, editor Marty Baron of The Boston Globe assigns a team of journalists to investigate allegations against John Geoghan, an unfrocked priest accused of molesting more than 80 boys. Led by editor Walter "Robby" Robinson (Michael Keaton), reporters Michael Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Matt Carroll and Sacha Pfeiffer interview victims and try to unseal sensitive documents.

Nov. 9, 2017
5-6:30 p.m. screening
6:30-7 p.m. discussion


This iconic horror film follows the obsessed scientist Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) as he attempts to create life by assembling a creature from body parts of the deceased.

Discussion leaders:

  • Perspective: Research Ethics—Christine Davison is the associate director of human subjects protection in the VCU Office of Research Subjects Protection. She has a master of bioethics and a B.S. in psychology. She is also a certified IRB professional (CIP).
  • Perspective: Frankenstein, the novel—Catherine Ingrassia, Ph.D., is a professor in the English department at VCU. She has a Ph.D. in English and specializes in restoration and 18th-century British literature and women writers of the eighteenth century. She will soon be teaching a course on Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.
  • Perspective: Film History—Michael C. Jones is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Art History Department at VCU. He has an MFA in filmmaking and has taught the history of motion pictures course for many years to thousands of students. A filmmaker himself, he is a founding member of the James River Film Society and co-director of the James River Film Festival.

Feb. 21, 2017
5-7:30 p.m. screening
7:30-8 p.m. discussion


Hidden Figures
Three brilliant African-American women at NASA—Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe)—serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell) into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation's confidence, turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world.

Further Resources

Check out the Questioning Cinema research guide for links to online resources and suggested reading.


This event is organized by VCU Libraries and co-sponsored by STS@VCU.

Image: Spotlight theatrical release poster


VCU Libraries

James Branch Cabell Library Monroe Park Campus
901 Park Ave., Box 842033
Richmond, VA 23284-2033
Toll-free: (844) 352-7399
(804) 828-1111
All Libraries
Tompkins-McCaw Library MCV Campus
509 N. 12th St., Box 980582
Richmond, VA 23298-0582
Toll-free: (844) 352-7399
(804) 828-0636

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