On Screen/In Person Series Continues With 'Man on Fire'

A still photo from the documentary “Man on Fire” about racism in Grand Saline, Texas, and a 79-year-old minister who set himself on fire to draw attention to it.

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will present the award-winning documentary “Man on Fire” next week along with a question-and-answer session with the filmmaker.

The film will be shown at 7 p.m. Feb. 15 in the Bromeley Family Theater in Blaisdell Hall. The documentary is part of the On Screen/In Person tour, a program of the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation made possible through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts. It is also being presented in conjunction with Black History Month events.

            “Man on Fire” is about Charles Moore, a 79 year-old Methodist minister from Grand Saline, Texas, who committed his life to being a social justice warrior. He defended gay rights, promoted racial equality, and overall strived to help those who were marginalized. His work led him across the United States as well as regions such as Africa, the Middle East, India, and Belgium.

However, even after a life of travel and preaching, he still felt unsatisfied with his contribution to the world. On the morning of June 23, 2014, Moore doused himself in gasoline and lit his body on fire.

Moore chose this radical death deliberately, leaving behind a suicide note on his hatchback window explaining the disappointment he had with himself and the community. One of the ending sentiments of his note read, “Many African-Americans were lynched around here … hanged, decapitated, and burned, some while still alive... I have decided to join them by giving my body to be burned.”

Moore left behind a world who he believed needed to confront racism and prejudice. The documentary “Man on Fire” aims to shed light on the minister’s intent as well as the racial history of Grand Saline.

One of the two filmmakers, Joel Fendelman, will be available to engage with audience members following the airing of the documentary. The cost to attend is $5 per ticket for the public. Pitt-Bradford students may attend for free.

For disability-related needs, contact the Office of Disability Resources and Services at (814)362-7609 or clh71@pitt.edu.



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