November 13, 2013
Films, Lectures, Readings and Discussions, Literary Arts, Free Events
Film Screening: “I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang!”
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries
As part of a four-day film festival, the University of Georgia Press will be screening "I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang!" (1932), followed by a question-and-answer session. The movie is based on Robert E. Burns's autobiography, published in 1932, when he was still running from the law, and subsequently reprinted by the University of Georgia Press. The event is part of the Spotlight on the Arts festival, the UGA Press 75th anniversary and University Press Week.
Movie synopsis: In 1921, Robert E. Burns was a shell-shocked and penniless veteran who found himself as the mercy of Georgia's barbaric penal system when he fell in with a gang of petty thieves. Sentenced to six to 10 years' hard labor for his part in a robbery that netted less than $6, Burns was shackled to a county chain gang. After four months of backbreaking work, he made a daring escape, dodging shotgun blasts, racing rhrough swamps and eluding bloodhounds on his way North. For seven years Burns lived as a free man. He married and became a prosperous Chicago businessman and publisher. When he fell in love with another woman, however, his jealous wife turned him in to the police, who arrested him as a fugitive from justice. Although he was promised lenient treatment and a quick pardon, he was back on a chain gang within a month. Undaunted, Burns did the impossible and escaped a second time, this time to New Jersey.