In 1929, a bank manager in Dawson City, Yukon Territory buried hundreds of silent film reels in a defunct swimming pool, in an effort to dispose of them safely. Forty-nine years later, in 1978, the reels were uncovered by a construction team, and the collection of silent films became known as the Dawson Film Find. Among the 533 reels that were ultimately restored, there were 114 newsreels, each reel containing 5 or 6 individual news stories, each one about a minute in length. Four of these news stories, produced between 1917 and 1920, have been included here in BURIED NEWS. Seen together, they reveal how race has historically been used as a tool in the USA to divide people for the commercial or political gain of those in power. Archival footage captures the aftermath of race riots in East St. Louis, Illinois, 1917, and in Omaha, Nebraska, 1919, as well as extremely rare, and heretofore believed to be lost footage of the siege of the Lexington, Kentucky courthouse in 1920.
Bill Morrison makes films that reframe long-forgotten moving images. His films have premiered at the New York, Rotterdam, Sundance, and Venice film festivals. In 2014 Morrison had a mid-career retrospective at MoMA. His found footage opus DECASIA (2002) was the first film of the 21st century to be selected to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry. THE GREAT FLOOD (2013), was recognized with the Smithsonian Ingenuity Award of 2014 for historical scholarship. DAWSON CITY: FROZEN TIME (2016) was included on over 100 critics’ lists of the best films of the year, and on numerous lists ranking the best films of the decade, including those of the Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, and Vanity Fair