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  • Writer's pictureChristina Hunt Wood

Newburgh Doc & Discussion with Director to be Presented at SUNY Delhi

Delhi, NY–Get Woke! Catskills (GW!) announces a screening of the documentary “Newburgh: Beauty and Tragedy” followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Dimitri Kasterine on Thursday, April 7, 6-8 pm. The event will take place at SUNY Delhi, Sanford Hall (Room 250). Registration for this event is not required but is welcome.

Kasterine’s film tells the story of Newburgh, NY, a small city, with a large BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) community located an hour north of Manhattan with Hudson Valley views and the backdrop of the Catskills further north. A once thriving beacon of industry and promise, for white middle-class Americans, Newburgh is now challenged with crumbling infrastructure, poverty, violence, and other disparities. According to GW! organizer, Christina Hunt Wood, “These conditions are the result of decades of racist policies, white flight, and neglect.” She adds that Kasterine’s film captures the rise of yet another area of concern, gentrification.

A self-defined “observer of life” and “not an investigative journalist,” Dmitri Kasterine started this film project after decades of taking photographs in Newburgh. It wasn’t the city’s violent reputation that drew him there, but the beauty of its people, their stories, and the unique geographical and architectural landscape surrounding them. In 2012, Kasterine released a book of photos called “Newburgh: Portrait of a City.” Shortly after, he began filming “Newburgh: Beauty and Tragedy.”

“Dmitri used his incredible skill as a portrait photographer to create this film–it's a moving picture that bears witness to the continued neglect and resilience of its residents.” remarks Wood.”

Kasterine explains, “We see a blatant lack of interest from the authorities in their welfare. We also see the degradation, but also the grace, stately composure, and warmth of Newburgh and its residents.”

Born in England in 1932, Dmitri Kasterine began his professional career as a photographer in 1961, working for publications such as The Daily Telegraph. He had a long association with the film auteur Stanley Kubrick, taking stills on the set of Dr. Strangelove (1964), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), and A Clockwork Orange (1971). His personal photographic survey “England and the English” was published in 1981 by Worlds Work.

In 1986, he moved to the United States, which he had first visited on assignment to photograph Mick Jagger in Los Angeles. In 2000 he directed and filmed a documentary on world-renowned chef Anthony Bourdain.

Kasterine resides in Central New York. He sells his prints, lectures, and continues to take photos of people in his community almost every day.

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