Presidio of San Francisco (February 5, 2010)
-- The Presidio Trust, in conjunction with the Italian Cultural Institute and the Consul General of Italy, is hosting a free screening of the award-winning documentary Inside Buffalo
on Friday, February 12 at 6:30 pm in the Presidio’s Golden Gate Club. The screening will be followed by a conversation with the film’s director, Fred Kuwornu.
Inside Buffalo tells the story of the 92nd infantry division, an African-American combat unit that fought heroically in Italy during World War II. Nicknamed the “Buffalo Soldiers”, these men valiantly fought two wars at once: one against the Nazi’s and fascism in Italy, the other against racial discrimination at home. They took their name from the original Buffalo Soldiers, an African-American cavalry regiment formed during the Civil War. Like their namesakes of World War II, these soldiers, some of whom were stationed at the Presidio for a brief time, were renowned for their bravery.
A meeting with Spike Lee while working on Lee’s film Miracle at St. Anna
in Tuscany inspired Kuwornu to make his very personal and moving documentary. Born and raised in Italy to a Ghanaian father and an Italian mother, Kuwornu details little known aspects of the story, including the profound and lasting friendships forged between the soldiers and the Italian villagers they liberated from Fascist rule. These stories, vividly recounted by veterans of the 92nd provide the film with its most poignant moments. The film includes Vernon Baker, the last living African-American to be awarded the Medal of Honor in World War II and a special appearance by President Barack Obama.
It was the Consul General, impressed with the Presidio’s previous exhibit about the Buffalo Soldiers, who first suggested screening the film at the Presidio.
“We’re extremely excited about the new partnership with the Consulate General and the Italian Cultural Institute,” says Jeff Weik, public programs director for the Presidio Trust. “History is such large part of what we do at the Presidio and this film details an important—and often overlooked—piece of American and Italian history.”
Timed to coincide with Black History Month, Inside Buffalo will be screened on Friday, February 12 at 6:30 pm in the Golden Gate Club, 135 Fisher Loop in the Presidio. Admission is free, but reservations are recommended. To RSVP call (415) 788-7142 ext. 18. For more information visit www.presidio.gov/calendar
The Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1996 to administer the Presidio of San Francisco, an urban national park located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The areas overseen by the Trust include expansive open space and spectacular views, a 300-acre historic forest, and rare and endangered plants and wildlife. The park comprises nearly 6 million square feet of buildings, including 469 historic structures that contribute to the Presidio's status as a National Historic Landmark District.