Medal of Honor Takes Center Stage at the Black Hills Film Festival

April 11, 2016

 

BEYOND GLORY, a film that portrays the remarkable stories of eight Medal of Honor recipients, will play at the Black Hills Film Festival on Saturday, May 7 at the 3:00 pm session in Hill City (Hill City High School Theater).  The film stars STEPHEN LANG who first adapted the screenplay from Larry Smith’s best-selling book, and with Director Larry Brand, Lang further shaped it into the film that will play at the Festival.  Best known for his acclaimed performance as the villainous Colonel Miles Quaritch in James Cameron’s AVATAR, Lang will speak to the Film Festival audience about making BEYOND GLORY following the film and later that evening, he will be featured in a special on-stage interview at the Festival’s 7:00 pm 

session.

 

For BEYOND GLORY Lang plays eight Medal of Honor recipients from World War II, Korea and Vietnam depicting first-hand accounts of the acts of valor for which these men received America’s highest military honor.  Lang has toured his one-man show around the world, including on military bases and as a command performance for Congress.  The film offers a seamless glimpse of Lang’s many performances.  An accomplished actor who has appeared in the films MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS, TOMBSTONE, GODS & GENERALS, and recent television series INTO THE BADLANDS and SHADES OF BLUE, Lang is also a Tony-nominated actor for his work on Broadway.  Lang has been signed by Cameron, who calls Lang a “gifted actor,” to reprise his role for three planned sequels to AVATAR.  In BEYOND GLORY Lang dives deep into the reservoirs of emotion and pain, fortitude and courage, humility and joy for his solo performance.

 

The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force – above and beyond the call of duty -- which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the U.S. Armed Services. Michael J. Fitzmaurice, now living in Hartford South Dakota received the Medal of Honor from President Nixon for his extraordinary actions at Khe Sanh, Republic of Vietnam, during a firefight on March 23, 1971.  Specialist Fourth Class Michael John Fitzmaurice, United States Army, smothered the blast of an enemy-thrown explosive charge with his flak vest and body to protect other soldiers in his bunker. Seriously wounded and partially blinded by the blast, he then continued to fight. After his rifle was damaged by a second explosive blast, Fitzmaurice proceeded to acquire another rifle from an enemy, defeating him with his bare hands, and continued to fight, refusing medical evacuation.  His extraordinary heroism 

contributed significantly to the successful defense of the Army’s position and saved the lives of 

a number of his fellow soldiers.

 

Fitzmaurice will attend the Film Festival with his wife Patricia.  He was in the Black Hills recently 

for the dedication of the new Michael J. Fitzmaurice State Veterans Home, a long-term care 

facility in Hot Springs.

 

 

About the Black Hills Film Festival:  The seventh annual tribute to independent films runs May 4-7, 2016.  The Festival begins with an evening at the Elks Theatre in Rapid City featuring PROPHET’S PREY, a film about the investigation of Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints, including their site in the southern Black Hills.  Investigator Sam Brower and victims of the church will attend the screening.  The Festival continues at the Journey Museum in Rapid City on Thursday and Friday (May 5-6) with two screenings of a South Dakota-made film, LAKOTA GIRLS as well as other documentaries, shorts and feature films produced by filmmakers from across the U.S.  The Festival hosts more than 30 films, and several filmmakers will be on hand to lend insight into movie-making.  Festival-goers may purchase session tickets for specific days (available on site only) or can buy Festival passes for entry into all films on all days at a cost of about $1.50 per film.  VIP Passes are also available with additional inclusion of several parties and receptions throughout the Festival, including one that honors Stephen Lang and Michael Fitzmaurice at Warrior’s Work Gallery in Hill City on Saturday at 5pm.

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