By Scott Enman
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
What does Imperator Furiosa, the female protagonist in the Oscar Award-winning film “Mad Max: Fury Road” have in common with the hundreds of thousands of people who took part in the Women's March?
They all are rebelling against a ruler who they believe is tyrannical.
Which is why Williamsburg’s Nitehawk Cinema — made famous for its seat-side food and beverage service — teamed up with Abrams Books to throw an event on Wednesday featuring both the film and the Women’s March.
Nitehawk combined a screening of the six-time Oscar Award-winning film with the release of “Why I March: Images from the Women's March Around the World.”
The event was part of Nitehawk’s Booze and Books series, where the cinema teams up with book publishers, local independent bookstores and writers to celebrate and forge discussions on the many ways books and films influence each other.
Dozens of Brooklynites came out to enjoy delicious food and drink and to watch the film, which was also nominated for Best Picture and Best Director at the Oscars.
“My programing perspective has changed a lot since the election and inauguration and I wanted to do more screenings that motivate and inform people,” said Caryn Coleman, director of programming at Nitehawk Cinema. “So when this book came out, I thought ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ is one of the best feminist films that has come out in the past 20 years.
“Furiosa is the best female character on screen since Ellen Ripley in 'Alien.' So it seemed like a really fun way to talk about the march, women’s rights in this tumultuous time that somewhat reflects this dystopic view that George Miller has in ‘Fury Road.’”
Since the new presidency, people have been searching for an outlet to escape and for a way to stay engaged, says Coleman. Nitehawk provides Brooklynites with a sanctuary where they can not only enjoy a movie, but also have meaningful discussions.
Each attendee received a copy of “Why I March” with their movie ticket. The book features images from dozens of cities across all seven continents of people who took part in the Women’s March.
Almost everyone in the audience took part in a demonstration.
All of the royalties raised from the novel will be donated to three nonprofits affiliated with the march: The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) and The Transgender Law Center. The event was also held in honor of Women's History Month.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties organization.
NLIRH promotes Latina power to guarantee the fundamental human right to reproductive health, dignity and justice.
The Transgender Law Center changes law, policy and attitudes so that people, regardless of their gender identity, can live safely, authentically and free.
“New York has, in many ways, felt like one of the places where the resistance campaign that has been waged against this administration has been most concentrated,” said Sam Weiner, co-editor of “Why I March.” “Due to the sheer fact that Trump Towers lies in the heart of Manhattan, it has become a lightning rod for protests.
“I think it’s particularly hard for people who live in the five boroughs to see someone who considers himself a son of New York rise up on a platform that goes against the tolerance that many New Yorkers feel is germane to this city.”
The book was also co-edited by Emma Jacobs and designer Najeebah Al-Ghadban.
Associate Director of Marketing at Abrams Books Paul Colarusso told the crowd that while most photo books take a year to publish, this one was made in less than two weeks. It was on the shelves of bookstores exactly one month after the Jan. 21 Women’s March.
“Why I March celebrates the Women’s March not just in New York, but across the country and around the world. But what it sets out to capture most specifically is the feeling of inclusion and strength that is so much a part of New York’s spirit,” said Weiner.
“We hope New Yorkers who marched here or anywhere else pick up the book and continue to feel as inspired by this book as they felt on Jan. 21, and that New York itself, a sanctuary city, a city that welcomes and celebrates people with all different backgrounds and lifestyles, continues to inspire people to resist.”
“Why I March” is available online and in bookstores. For more information on Nitehawk’s Books and Booze series, go to nitehawkcinema.com.