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Walter Mosley in Conversation with Legendary Filmmaker Walter Bernstein

Walter Mosley in Conversation with Legendary Filmmaker Walter Bernstein

I’ve known Walter Bernstein for 30 years. In all my adult life I have never met a more intelligent, loving, sensitive, questioning, heroic man. Whether putting his body in the way to block stones hurled at Paul Robeson or marching across nighttime, Nazi-dominated, Yugoslavia to be the first American to interview the insurgent Josep Broz Tito—a hero in his own right. Walter underwent LSD psycho-therapy in the 1960s and wrote some of the most beautiful scenes ever seen on the movie screens that most often lie to us. He interviewed the great Sugar Ray Robinson while riding shotgun in his pink Cadillac and worked closely with the incomparable Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte.

At once Walter is an original and a filial brother in arms. His convictions and beliefs were often dangerous for him and his loved ones. His socialism, for instance. Many of us, maybe all of us, have convictions and beliefs but how many have the courage to stand up for what we believe and behind others who have no choice but to fight? Not many I think. For this reason alone there is greatness to Mr. Bernstein.

Today, Tuesday, August 20, 2019, Walter will celebrate his 100th birthday. One hundred years fighting the good fight with his body and mind, his love of justice and an open heart. One hundred years of sharing his larder, his knowledge, and his restless pursuit of what is right in the midst of chaos, prejudice, stupidity, and downright evil. One hundred years searching for the right words and images while celebrating any and all who join in this endless, completely human adventure.

Walter agreed to a short interview concerning the previous hundred years. I didn’t ask about his parents or siblings, his elementary school experiences or his first love. Instead I talked about a life lived in a land of potentials and pitfalls.

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