Saving Face Documentary

February 28, 2012 by staff 

Saving Face Documentary, “The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement” lost out Sunday night on the the Academy Award for best documentary short subject, which instead went to the Pakistani film “Saving Face.”

“The Barber of Birmingham,” a film about the late Birmingham barber and civil-rights hero James Armstrong, was one of five nominees for the Oscar.

The other nominees were “God Is the Bigger Elvis,” “Incident in New Baghdad” and “The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom.”

San Francisco filmmaker Robin Fryday, who directed “The Barber of Birmingham,” met Armstrong when she came to Birmingham during the 2008 election of President Barack Obama to shoot a film about the everyday heroes of the civil rights movement.

“Somebody asked me if I had met the barber, so I took a trip to his shop and met Mr. Armstrong,” Fryday recalled in an interview last year with The Birmingham News. “I spent many hours with him, listening to his stories of his involvement in the movement.”

Armstrong — who first filed suit to desegregate Birmingham’s public schools in 1957, and eight years later, on Bloody Sunday, carried an American flag across Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge — died of heart failure in November 2009. He was 86.

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