The National Archives Features Oscar®-nominated 1970s Documentaries in May
Press Release · Thursday, May 9, 2013

Oscar’s Docs: American Stories from the 1970s

The National Archives celebrates its 1970s photography exhibition, “Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project,” with screenings of four of that iconic era’s Oscar®-winning documentaries. Larry Engel, documentary filmmaker and Associate Professor of Film and Media Arts at The American University in Washington, DC, will introduce the films. The screenings are presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in partnership with the Charles Guggenheim Center for Documentary Film and the Foundation for the National Archives. The films Marjoe and The Flight of the Gossamer Condor have been preserved by the Academy Film Archive.

The screenings are free and open to the public, and will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. Attendees should use the Special Events entrance on Constitution Avenue at 7th Street, NW. Metro accessible on the Yellow and Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter station.

Thursday, May 30, at 7 p.m.

  • Princeton: A Search for Answers (1973; 28 minutes), profiles the prestigious university. Directed by Julian Krainin and DeWitt Sage.
  • Marjoe (1972; 88 minutes; rated PG) is a revealing portrait of evangelist and faith healer Marjoe Gortner. Directed by Howard Smith and Sarah Kernochan.

Friday, May 31, at noon

  • The Flight of the Gossamer Condor (1978; 27 minutes), chronicles the historic flight of the first human-powered aircraft capable of controlled and sustained flight. Directed by Ben Shedd.
  • The Great American Cowboy (1973; 89 minutes) goes behind the scenes at the American rodeo. Directed by Kieth Merrill.

About “Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project”

Bad fashion, odd fads, and disco dance music sum up the 1970s for many Americans. But the1970s were much more than leisure suits, streaking, and disco. During the seventies, profound changes took root in American politics, society, environment, and economy.

“Searching for the Seventies” takes a new look at the 1970s using remarkable color photographs taken for the Federal photography project called DOCUMERICA (1971-1977). Created by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), DOCUMERICA was born out of the decade’s environmental awakening, producing striking photographs of many of that era’s environmental problems and achievements, but also captured the era’s trends, fashions, and cultural shifts. Located in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, this exhibit is free and open to the public, and runs through September 8, 2013.

The National Archives is fully accessible, and Assisted Listening Devices are available in the McGowan Theater upon request. To request a sign language interpreter for a public program, please send an email to or call 202-357-5000 at least two weeks prior to the event. To verify dates and times of the programs, call 202-357-5000 or view the Calendar of Events online. To contact the National Archives, call 1-866-272-6272 or 1-86-NARA-NARA (TDD 301-837-0482).

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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