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American Denial

January 22, 2015

ITVS Community Film is a national civic engagement initiative that features monthly screenings of films from PBS’s Emmy Award-winning series, Independent Lens, in order to bring together communities in discussion of key social issues. In collaboration with Philadelphia’s local PBS station WHYY-TV, we will host a free-to-the-public screening of the documentary American Denial on Tuesday, February 10 at 7:00pm in the URBN Annex Screening Room (3401 Filbert Street).

The documentary is based on the story and work of researcher Gunnar Mydral, the Nobel Laureate whose 1944 study An American Dilemma provocatively explored the United States’ collective racial psyche. His research hinged on the psychological testing of racial attitudes, and continues to serve as an important lens into our society’s unconscious political and moral world. The film presents Mydral’s research, archival footage and news reels from the 30s and 40s, and perspectives from a range of experts, including historians, sociologists and psychologists, in its exploration of unconscious beliefs, individual responsibility and social justice.

This is the second of three ITVS Community screenings at Westphal this year. For more information, please contact Professor Karin Kelly at